Media Prima looks to new business initiatives for growth

  • Capitalise on the increased demand for e-commerce and digital content
  • Among the new ventures that have been very successful is home shopping


Media Prima looks to new business initiatives for growth


MEDIA Prima Bhd, a fully-integrated Malaysian media group is optimistic that the business initiatives launched under the group’s business transformation plan in 2016 will be the catalyst for future growth.

Under the plan, the group’s revenue contributions from digital, non-traditional advertising and commerce have doubled for the first nine months of 2017 (9MFY17 or YTD17) compared to the corresponding period of 2016.

Combined revenues from digital advertising, home shopping, e-commerce and subscription-based OTT service grew from RM50 million to RM123 million for YTD17.

Media Prima on Nov 29 announced its third quarter and nine months financial results ended Sept 30, 2017. Revenue for the nine months financial period ended Sept 30, 2017 declined by 8% against the previous corresponding financial period, attributed to lower advertising and newspaper sales as the shift to digital media amongst consumers continued.

The group recorded a loss after tax (LAT) of RM284.9 million against LAT of RM71.6 million in the corresponding period of 2016.

This is mainly due to the impairment of investment in an associate in June 2017 and Early Retirement Scheme (ERS) payment in August 2017.

If the one-off impairment of investment in an associate and ERS payment were excluded, the group posted a lower LAT of RM90.2 million.

Media Prima’s revenue for 3Q FY17 decreased by 12% against the preceding quarter (2Q FY17) and incurred LAT of RM105.2 million for 3Q FY17 mainly due to the declining trend of core advertising revenue and ERS payment of RM52.3 million.

If the ERS payment is excluded, the group posted a lower 3Q FY17 LAT of RM52.9 million against RM4 million PAT in 2QFY17.

Media Prima group chairman Ismee Ismail said, “Media Prima is committed to delivering value to its shareholders by capitalising on the increased demand for e-commerce and digital content among consumers.

“The group is continuously adapting to the increasingly challenging and competitive operating environment by executing its business transformation plan which focuses on delivering new revenue streams while implementing structural changes within the organisation to enhance efficiency.

“We believe the plan will enable Media Prima to improve our cost structures and create value in the short and medium terms”.

Media Prima group managing director Kamal Khalid (pic) said “The group has been implementing its new business initiatives and made key structural changes within the organisation that includes organisational restructuring, manpower rightsizing, reducing print manufacturing facilities while strategically investing in digital publishing capabilities through the strategic acquisition of Rev Asia in August this year.

“We have also ventured into new markets abroad, which is another important component of our transformation plan. The group has extended our consumers services such as tonton into Singapore and Brunei while Primeworks Studios has been selling video content to global OTT providers such as Netflix and Iflix.”

Kamal added that among the new ventures that have been very successful is home shopping. Launched in April 2016, CJ Wow Shop is a significant contributor to Media Prima’s revenue.

For 9MFY17, CJ Wow Shop continued to show an encouraging trend recording RM92.9 million in revenue.

The group plans to increase CJ Wow Shop’s exposure to further tap the nation’s growing home shopping/e-commerce markets. Expansion by diversifying into more local product offerings are also on the cards.

The group also recorded significant growth in digital advertising revenue. The New Straits Times Press and Media Prima Radio Networks recorded over 100% growth in digital revenue for YTD17 compared to the previous year.

Revenue for Media Prima’s consumer subscription-based services such as tonton increased by 27% while education portal FullAMark doubled sales for the year.

The new digital initiatives have enabled Media Prima to expand its audience base significantly as it complements the existing mass market already reached through the group’s television, print and radio businesses.

“Our reach has never been higher as audiences and advertisers move towards the digital content provided by our media platforms.

“Media Prima’s Harian Metro portal, for instance, recorded 3.7 million unique visitors in August 2017 via mobile devices, the highest among all local news publications. BH unique visitors stood at three million unique visitors while tonton currently has over seven million registered users.

“With the inclusion of Rev Asia, our digital reach today stands as the third highest in Malaysia, behind only to Facebook and Google,” said Kamal.

He added that while the revenue contributions from the new digital and commerce initiatives have yet to offset the decline in revenue by Media Prima’s traditional businesses, the group believes that it is a step in the right direction.

The group will stay the course with regards to its business transformation efforts and that the strategy for Media Prima moving forward is to grow further and monetise its strong digital reach.

“We will continue to defend our leadership position in our traditional businesses. Our subsidiaries Big Tree Outdoor (BTO), Media Prima Radio Networks and Media Prima Digital, remained resilient, recording 5%, 2% and 41% revenue growth respectively compared to the same period in 2016.

“BTO is expected to benefit from the rollout of new advertising assets along the Mass Rapid Transit line and the Light Rapid Transit line extensions. BTO will continue to be a strong contributor to the group’s revenue moving forward,” said Kamal.


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