Star declares nine sen dividend

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KUALA LUMPUR: Star Media Group Bhd’s net profit for the first six months ended June 30, 2015 (1HFY15) rose 7.6% to RM59.84 million or 8.11 sen per share from RM55.64 million or 7.54 sen per share in 1HFY14, mainly due to higher profit recorded in its print and radio segment.

It declared an interim dividend of nine sen per share for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2015 (FY15), payable on Oct 16. The stock will trade ex-dividend on Sept 22, according to its filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Its 1HFY15 revenue, however, declined a marginal 0.4% to RM483.75 million from RM485.67 million a year ago, largely due to lower print and digital revenue.

But its print and digital segments for the period saw a higher profit before tax of RM84.23 million versus RM72.94 million in 1HFY14, mainly because the previous year recorded expenses incurred from its voluntary separation scheme.

Meanwhile, its second quarter ended June 30 (2QFY15) net profit came in at RM33.29 million or 4.51 sen per share versus RM39.38 million or 5.34 sen per share a year ago, while revenue was down 3% to RM266.31 million from RM274.53 million in 2QFY14, largely due to lower revenue contribution from its print segment.

This was because of the implementation of the goods and services tax in April and uncertainties in the economy that affected consumer sentiments and overall advertising expenditure, Star noted.

On prospects, Star said advertising expenditure for the rest of the year is expected to be flat amid the present business and market conditions.

Even so, its media-related segments will continue to enhance its respective media platforms to extend their reach to wider audiences by continuing to provide more bundled products and creative buys to advertisers.

It is also expanding aggressively into the digital businesses in video content (TheStarTV) and its recently launched audience interest marketing system, while seeking new opportunities in local and emerging markets like Vietnam and Myanmar for its events and exhibition business segment.

It plans to continue focusing and strengthening its key strategies in the media industry and as such, is cautiously optimistic that it will achieve a satisfactory performance for FY15.

Star’s (fundamental: 2.5; valuation: 1.4) counter closed unchanged at RM2.41 yesterday, for a market capitalisation of RM1.78 billion.


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This article first appeared in digitaledge Daily, on August 19, 2015.