PETALING JAYA: Despite revenue being affected by the lockdown, Star Media Group Bhd (SMG) managed to narrow its losses.
The group posted a total revenue of RM46.24mil for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2021 (Q3 2021), down by 4% from the same quarter of 2020.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, SMG said the group’s pre-tax loss narrowed substantially by 76% to RM4.15mil for the quarter under review from RM17.41mil in Q3 2020 if “the one-off item on reversal of compensation income, which amounted to RM50.54mil is excluded.”
For the quarter under review, the group’s radio broadcasting segment generated a higher revenue amounting to RM5.59mil in Q3 2021 as compared with RM5.54mil in Q3 2020.
This segment recorded a pre-tax profit of RM0.10mil compared with a loss of RM0.38mil in Q3 2020 mainly due to better cost management.
The group’s print and digital revenue eased for the quarter under review against Q3 2020.
However, SMG saw a double-digit growth in digital revenue against the last corresponding quarter, which was attributable to the increase in digital advertorial, growth marketing and paywall subscription revenue.
This segment recorded a lower pre-tax loss of RM4.27mil in Q3 2021 as compared with RM16.87mil in Q3 2020 if the one-off items mentioned above are excluded in the respective periods.
The group’s event and exhibition segment posted a loss amounting to RM0.28mil in Q3 2021 compared with RM0.78mil in the previous corresponding quarter.
SMG noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of SMG’s offline events to be cancelled.
“However, we have taken this opportunity to explore online alternatives such as webinars and virtual fairs to limit the fallout from these cancelled events,” it added.
For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2021 (9M 2021), the group’s total revenue fell by 7% to RM135.59mil compared with 9M 2020.
SMG said the decrease was mainly due to the high base in Q1 2020 as the pandemic and movement control order or MCO only started to kick in from March 2020.
“However, the group’s digital and radio segments remain resilient during this challenging time, which recorded a double-digit increase in revenue during the period under review.”
In general, the group’s performance improved in 9M 2021 as compared to 9M 2020.
On its prospects, the group continued to progress with its digital transformation initiatives to improve its cost and operational efficiencies.
“March 2021 marks a year since MCO 1.0 and the implementation of the paywall for The Star Online.”
This follows a group wide “Subscribe and Win” campaign that was launched in Q1 to drive more subscriptions and there has been steady growth despite the uncertain economic situation,” it said.
The group has also experienced a significant growth in the Malay target segment with mStar taking the lead in its content category, peaking at 8.5 million Unique visitors in September.
In view of rapid changes in media consumption trends, SMG will focus on sustaining its investment in the digital space and attracting digital revenue via the introduction of new products and rejuvenating existing ones to keep up with the changing market needs.