Media Prima narrows 3Q losses to US$6mil
By Digital News Asia November 21, 2019
- Posted US$192.4 million in group revenue for 9M19 against US$22.8 million in 9M18
- Traditional advertising and circulation revenues for 9M19 dropped by 15% and 21%
MEDIA Prima Bhd narrowed its net loss in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (3Q19) to US$5.8 million (RM24.16 million) from US$7.37 million (RM30.71 million) a year ago, despite a continued fall in revenue, as it reduced operating expenses, with loss from operations dipping 28%.
A filing with Bursa Malaysia showed a 2% fall in revenue during the quarter to US$63.76 million (RM265.55 million) from US$65.26 million (RM271.8 million) a year ago.
[US$1 = RM4.1648]
This was mitigated by a 5% retreat in operating expenses to RM288.35 million from RM302.74 million. Loss from operations went down to RM19.69 million from RM27.3 million.
For the cumulative nine months ended Sept 30 (9M19), the group's net loss expanded to RM73.4 million, over three times the net loss of RM20.58 million it recorded a year ago (9M18), while revenue declined 10% to RM801.41 million from RM894.84 million.
Subsequent to the reporting period, Media Prima announced that it will embark on the next phase of its transformation exercise. This includes changing its business model and restructuring internally to enable the group to be sustainable given uncertain macroeconomic conditions and disruptive changes in the global and local media sector.
Tougher operating conditions continued to impact the group’s performance as a whole. Media Prima posted RM801.4 million in group revenue for the nine months against RM894.8 million in the comparative period. The group recorded a loss after tax (LAT) of RM79.2 million against a LAT of RM22.1 million in 9M18.
The lower LAT for 9M18 was attributable to a one-off gain on the sale of shares in an associate amounting to RM45.4 million. Excluding this one-off item in 9M18, the decline in the group's loss in 9M19 would be lower against the corresponding period.
Traditional advertising and circulation revenues for the nine months dropped by 15% and 21% respectively against the corresponding period. Overall cautious spending contributed to revenue decline across the group’s business segments.
Media Prima group managing director Kamal Khalid (pic), said: “The group will continue to build on the positive growth achieved by our digital and commerce initiatives while taking measures to further improve our costs and operational efficiencies. The next phase of our business transformation aims to deliver more effective solutions across our various media platforms to meet the evolving demands of the media industry.”
The group’s home shopping and digital revenue increased by 9% for 9M19. Media Prima Television Networks’ CJ WOW SHOP remained on the upswing with a 12% increase to RM169.9 million in 9M19 against RM151.9 million in the comparative period (9M18).
In film production, Primeworks Studios’ (PWS) Sangkar climbed t the Malaysian box office having collected over RM12 million after three weeks in cinemas nationwide. PWS aims to release two more films this year — Wira on Nov 21 and Ejen Ali the Movie on Nov 28.
Big Tree has retained its dominant market position as Malaysia’s leading out-of-home solutions provider. In broadcast media, Media Prima remained Malaysia’s most-watched channels with a 35.2% television audience share.
The New Straits Times Press’ online brand for Harian Metro recorded the highest unique visitors for online news in Malaysia for 3Q19. According to Comscore, myMetro reached 13.6 million unique visitors from July to September 2019. Meanwhile, the average monthly unique visitors for BH Online and NST Online is 4.2 million and two million respectively.