Era ends with TVB's Mona Fong to retire
After reporting solid earnings for last year, Television Broadcasts marked the end of an era yesterday when it announced the retirement of deputy chairman and managing director Mona Fong Yat-wah on March 31.
Fong, 77, will step down three months after the retirement of her husband, Run Run Shaw, 104, on December 31, when he relinquished all his posts at the broadcaster.
In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, TVB said Fong would be redesignated as a non-executive director from April 1. She has been a director of the company since October 1988, served as a deputy chairman since October 2000 and took on the role of managing director in May 2006.
Group general manager Mark Lee Po-on will assume the duties of managing director until further notice.
Shaw, who was named chairman emeritus following his retirement, in March last year sold his entire TVB shareholding - a 26 per cent stake held through Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) - to a group of investors for HK$6.26 billion. Fong controls a 0.26 per cent stake in TVB and a further 3.64 per cent through Shaw Foundation Hong Kong.
TVB yesterday reported a 17 per cent increase in net profit last year to HK$1.56 billion, from HK$1.33 billion in 2010, on the back of strong advertising sales. Revenue grew 11 per cent to HK$5.21 billion.
It said advertising spending in multiple product categories rose significantly to meet 'continued huge increase in demand from mainland buyers, coupled with strong local demand'. The top advertising categories included skin care, milk powder, luxury goods and consumer electronics.
Market-monitoring firm admanGo estimates advertising spending in Hong Kong reached a record HK$36.03 billion last year, 34.96 per cent of which went into television campaigns.