Singapore—More than 130 employees of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will reportedly be affected by the recently announced company restructuring.
An estimated 70 employees, excluding newsroom staff, will be laid off which will cost the company S$8 million according to an initial report by CNA.
SPH publishes The Straits Times, The Business Times SG, The New Paper, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News, Berita Harian, and Tamil Murasu among many other newspapers and magazines.
The company’s full-year net profit had a 23.4 percent decline amounting to S$213 million for fiscal year 2019. Operating profit also dipped 12.2 percent to S$187 million as operating revenue fell 2.4 percent to S$959 million.
While total audiences across platforms increased, total circulation revenue fell by 7.3 percent to S$11 million.
Revenue from print media continued to decline due to fewer advertisers and changing readership habits. Newspaper print sales fell to 68,855 copies in the previous year, a 12.2 percent decline. However, average newspaper digital sales reportedly increased to 40,352 copies or 19.3 percent.
SPH said that it intends to “streamline its media and magazine operations” citing its “successful” digital transformation initiatives.
“By selling its newspaper and magazine titles together not only across print but also digital, voice and outdoor formats, SPH brings together the specialist appeal of many of its magazine titles to the specific audience groups they serve (women, luxury, fashion, technology) with the broader mass market audiences commanded by its newspaper titles,” SPH said.
SPH added that it has reached out to the Ministry of Manpower and the National Trades Union Congress regarding the restructuring of staff. Employees affected by the exercise will be given compensation. -/TISG