SCMP Group, the publisher of the South China Morning Post, yesterday clarified that the company had no plans to launch a new publication in Taiwan. The company made the statement after a Taiwan newspaper reported at the weekend that SCMP was planning to launch a Taiwan edition online later this year. '[The company] would like to clarify that there is no truth to recently published reports that the South China Morning Post plans to launch a new publication, either in print or online, in Taiwan,' the statement said. It further said that SCMP had not appointed anyone to conduct business or negotiate on its behalf with respect to launching the new venture. Taiwan-based Economic Daily News reported on Sunday that SCMP had intended to hire several economic and finance experts as it prepared to launch a Taiwan edition. The SCMP statement said: 'The group reserves the right to take appropriate legal action against anyone who falsely claims to represent the SCMP Group or the South China Morning Post.' SCMP had earlier announced a 28.83 per cent decline in net profit to HK$124.54 million for the first six months to June last year, with revenue 12.45 per cent lower at HK$544.72 million. Earnings were affected by a drop in corporate notices after changes to stock exchange rules in June last year and stock market volatility. Last month, the company appointed David Pang as its non-executive chairman and Kuok Hui Kwong as the managing director and chief executive. Shares in SCMP have been suspended from trading since February 27 last year, pending the announcement of a resumption of the required public float of 25 per cent.