Television Broadcasts (TVB)

Hong Kong broadcaster TVB reports 30pc decline in operating profit on lower ad spending

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 10:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 10:51pm

Hong Kong broadcasting giant TVB reported a net profit decline of 74 per cent as a result of a gain on the disposal of a Taiwanese production company that was included in its 2015 earnings.

Its half yearnet profit slumped to HK$302 million from HK$1.14 billion in the same period last year. However, TVB’s revenue for the six months ended June 30 beat analyst estimates, slipping just 3 per cent to HK$1.96 billion from last year’s HK$2 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 9 per cent decline in revenue to about HK$1.8 billion.

TVB also posted a 30 per cent decline in operating profit of HK$326 million, down from HK$464 million during the same period last year due to declining advertising revenue and increased competition from on-demand online services and digital video platforms.

In its outlook, TVB stated that the advertising market in Hong Kong had underperformed in the last six months compared to the year prior.

“Our businesses have been adversely affected by tighter advertising spending budgets especially in Hong Kong, widespread content piracy, and fierce competition from online entertainment alternatives as a result of globalisation,” TVB Chairman Charles Chan Kwok Keung said in a statement.

Our businesses have been adversely affected by tighter advertising spending budgets especially in Hong Kong
Charles Chan Kwok Keung, TVB chairman

Total advertising spending in the market is estimated to have fallen by 20 per cent in the first half of 2016, according to TVB, although the company posted an 11 per cent decline in TV broadcasting revenue.

TVB reported that its over-the-top (OTT) video service myTV Super had also signed up over 610,000 users, and it expects to more than double the number by the end of 2017 as it redirects its focus to distribution through its OTT platform.

It will also launch an enhanced TVB Anywhere OTT service overseas in the second half of 2016, to reach out to the global Chinese speaking communities around the world. Canada will be the first market to enjoy the service in September.

TVB will also participate in the development of the booming Chinese movie business. The company has taken a 29.7 per cent interest in Shaw Brothers Holdings, which is jointly held by China Media Capital and TVB, as well as a 5.1 per cent interest in Flagship Entertainment Group, a movie investment platform newly formed by Warner Brothers, CMC and TVB.

The company’s shares traded up by 0.37 per cent to close at HK$26.95 on Wednesday, ahead of TVB’s results release. Its shares have declined by about 12 per cent since the beginning of the year.

In the results, an interim dividend of HK$0.60 per share was also announced, similar to last year.