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SPH forms new book publishing subsidiary

Singapore, 17 September 2008 - Singapore Press Holdings today announced the formation of a new book publishing business under its subsidiary, Straits Times Press Pte Ltd.

To jump-start its book publishing operations, Straits Times Press has taken over the current contracts of SNP International Publishing, the book publishing arm of SNP Corporation, and its intellectual property rights, as well as its six-person team headed by publishing veteran Shirley Hew. This transaction is not expected to have any material impact on the earnings per share or the net tangible assets per share of SPH for the financial year ending 31 August 2009.

Patrick Daniel, Editor-in-Chief of SPH´s English and Malay Newspapers Division (EMND) who will chair the Straits Times Press board, said: “We´re delighted to get back into book publishing. It is a natural extension of our newspaper business. We have many excellent writers, photographers and artists, and a wealth of content waiting to be tapped. We´re confident of the business potential in this sector.”

SPH hived off its book subsidiary, Times Publishing, as a separate listed company in 1989 to focus on newspaper publishing.

Mr Daniel said the subsidiary will work closely with the more than 700 staff of EMND, in particular The Straits Times, the group´s 163-year-old flagship. The Straits Times, which has bureaus in 15 cities and an average daily circulation of 388,500, also has numerous online products - including STOMP, a social networking site, and the recently launched Straits Times Razor TV, an interactive web TV service.

Ms Hew, who will be Executive Director of Straits Times Press, said she is delighted at the opportunity to work at Straits Times Press within SPH. “We worked together very successfully as separate entities in the past. Now, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPH, we will be able to realise and unlock value across the board in breadth and depth.”

She added: “While continuing our ongoing publishing programme comprising coffee-table commemorative books, our first priority is to add publishing opportunities to the Group. We will offer SPH yet another channel in the world of multi-platform publishing.”

Ms Hew and her team have an established track record of conceptualising, producing and delivering quality publications in different fields. These range from contract publishing for organisations to publishing titles under its own imprint. Some notable publications include the recently released book commemorating the official opening of Changi Airport´s Terminal 3 and the 100th Anniversary books for Great Eastern Life and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The team has won international recognition for its publications. These include a 148-title series on Cultures and Countries that won the New York Public Library´s Teenage Book of the Year Award, and a prize for ‘Best Book on Entertaining” at the Salon du Livre Gourmand in France. The team also created the internationally selling “Culture Shock” series.

Mr Alan Chan, SPH´s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Straits Times Press is the group´s latest initiative to achieve growth by expanding into adjacent businesses, and tapping on the group´s extensive resources and strengths.”

SPH announced last week the purchase of Shareinvestor.com, an Internet financial portal and investor relations service. SPH is also part of OpenNet, the consortium bidding for Singapore´s next-generation national broadband network.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Chin Soo Fang
Head
Corporate Communications Division
DID: 6319 1216
Mobile: 9688 6209
Email: soofang@sph.com.sg
 

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine, rednano.sg; STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging and The Straits Times RazorTV, a free access interactive webcast service offering live chat shows and video on demand clips.

Broadcasting
SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

Properties
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.