Star Publications draws up 5 strategies to reduce reliance on print

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PETALING JAYA (May 18): Media group Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd has drawn up five strategies to reduce its reliance on print advertising revenue and shift its focus to digital revenue.

Its chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow listed the strategies that the group would adopt to include making synergistic investments, launching its Star TV online in September this year and introducing an audience interest marketing system that allows the customisation of target markets.

The others include expanding its advertising, as well as event management segment.

Fu said this transition is important at a time when news delivery needed to be distributed in the fastest manner through various channels.

"While the print segment contribute about 70% to the group's revenue, we have to start looking at digital transformation which entails presenting news and content in the right format," he told reporters after the group's annual general meeting today.

However, he declined to reveal the capital expenditure and revenue growth resulting from the strategies except to say that they were "still being studied".

Star Publications, which will announce its first-quarter results tomorrow, reported a 22% drop in net profit to RM111.42 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014 (FY14) from RM142.88 million in FY13. Revenue fell by a marginal 1.1% to RM1.01 billion from RM1.03 billion in the same period.

Last month, the group had announced that its 64.1%-owned Singapore-listed unit Cityneon Holdings Ltd was acquiring Singapore-based Victory Hill Exhibitions Pte Ltd, an exhibition services provider which holds the rights to provide exhibition services for Marvel, from Philadelphia Investments Pte Ltd for S$21 million (RM56.77 million).

Fu said the proposed acquisition is expected to be completed "in the next few months" and would contribute "substantially" to the group's revenue.

Meanwhile, Star Publications group managing director Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the group remains 'cautiously optimistic' on its financial performance for FY15.

At 3.10pm, Star Publications (fundamental: 2.5; valuation: 1.4) shares were traded up 0.41% at RM2.43, with 200,700 shares changing hands.

(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)