HK icon feels economy bite but maintains profit

THE South China Morning Post has felt the pain of the economic downturn, registering a 68 per cent fall in net profit, according to reports from Hong Kong.

Its full-year net profit was US$22.3 million, confirming the iconic English-language title is still in the black despite the doom and gloom coming out of Europe and the United States.

As a good signpost for a future recovery, circulation of the Post fell only 1 per cent in the year, indicating the newspaper continues to hold its audience but is struggling with advertising revenue.

Group non-executive chairman David Pang said that recruitment – traditionally a massive market for the Post on Saturdays – had dipped dramatically by 60 per cent in January and February.

Display¬†categories, such as retail, travel and luxury goods, had fallen 30 points in the first two months of the year, Mr Pang said in a statement reported by the Post’s rival publication, The Standard.

“We will focus on … [reducing] costs significantly in the areas of staffing, production, newsprint and marketing spend,” he is reported as telling The Standard.

The South China Morning Post is the only paid-for English-language title in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.

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