Top photo: Datuk Kamal Khalid/ The Star
By NST Business
KUALA LUMPUR: Media Prima Bhd has swung back into the black with a net profit of RM58.9 million in the year ended December 31 2018, reversing the net loss of RM699 million previously.
Media Prima said this was achieved on the back of successful revenue diversification, as well as the execution of asset-light strategies, in-line with the group’s transformation mission.
“The group’s improved net profit was contributed by a one-off gain of RM133.1 million following the completion of the sale and leaseback arrangement.
“This is in-line with the asset-light strategy which enables the group to be more lean and agile as Media Prima accelerates digital and commerce growth in 2019,” it said in a statement today.
The group’s revenue for the period declined slightly to RM1.18 billion from RM1.19 billion in 2017.
Media Prima’s digital and commerce ventures recorded positive growth in 2018.
Digital and commerce revenue increased 76 per cent to RM301.0 million. This cushioned the revenue decline from the traditional business segments.
Group chairman Datuk Mohd Nasir Ahmad said the improved performance underscored the positive impact of Media Primat’s transformation plan.
“We believe our initiatives in FY18 have built a stronger foundation to tap into new revenue growth and
opportunities in 2019. Moving forward, we will remain focused on honing our competitive advantage in the digital and commerce segments, while keeping a close watch on operational efficiencies as part of our strategies to enhance shareholder value,” he added.
Media Prima group managing director Datuk Kamal Khalid is optimistic of its future as an asset-light company.
“Our FY18 results show that our transformation initiatives have begun to improve our margins and offset losses from our traditional segments. Barring exceptional items, the group would have also posted a lower loss after tax by 42 per cent against the comparative period,” he said in the statement.
“Nonetheless, we believe operating as an asset-light group, as well as a leading player in the traditional and digital landscape, gives us greater agility and a competitive edge to rapidly expand in key growth areas,” Kamal added.
Media Prima said its collaboration with YouTube had delivered significant results.
The group’s channels saw an increase in viewership to 1.1 billion in FY18.
In digital publishing, REV Asia Holdings acquired a 25 per cent stake in Monster Scape Sdn Bhd, owner and publisher of Chinese social news portal TanTanNews, to strengthen its dominant position in the millennial Chinese-speaking online community.
This will allow REV Asia to scale at a rapid pace to cater to the demand for Chinese content from audiences and advertisers.
These strategies have led the group to surpass Google and Facebook as the most popular choice for mobile content among Malaysians.
According to the data from US-based media measurement and analytics company Comscore Mobile Metrix® Top 100 Properties, Total Audience, Dec 2018, Malaysia, Media Prima tops the list with 13.60 million total unique visitors, a 62 per cent increase from December 2017.
Media Prima is owner of three national newspapers namely the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro.
It also owns four FTA channels namely TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9 as well as popular video streaming portal, tonton.