Last month, the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced that it posted a net loss of S$83.7 million for the financial year of 2020, which ended on 31 August (‘SPH CEO says company’s net loss due to COVID-19 while share price dives to nearly $1‘).
The net loss, which is the company’s first-ever, is in contrast with a net profit of S$213.2 million a year ago. SPH’s revenue from media advertising declined by a staggering 31.4 per cent. Revenue for the media business also shrank by 22.8 per cent.
Segments significantly hit even include its property business. SPH’s malls and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets were hit by non-cash fair value losses of S$232 million. The valuation of its retail malls fell by S$196.5 million while that of its PBSA assets fell by S$31.9 million respectively.
Without the government grants of S$68.5 million through the Jobs Support Scheme, SPH’s net loss would have been even higher. SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung attributed his company’s losses to COVID-19.
“All our major business segments were severely disrupted by Covid-19. Our media business is badly affected by the collapse in advertising,” he said.
Despite losing money for the first time in the history of SPH, it was found that its CEO Ng Yat Chung was awarded with bonuses and shares. In the latest SPH’s annual report which was released recently, Ng’s received a total cash and benefits of $1,350,000 in the last FY:
He was also awarded with SPH shares in 2020:
In any case, Ng should be happy to have received such good remuneration of cash and shares despite SPH losing money for the first time in its history and retrenchment of SPH staff.