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Friday, June 8, 2012

Utusan Melayu may venture into property development

KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd may venture into property development in the future as part of its strategy to unlock the value of its current land-bank.

Executive chairman Tan Sri Hashim Makaruddin said that this would enable the company to earn recurring income in the long term.

Hashim: ‘We can turn it (its 4ha in Kuala Lumpur) into commercial buildings like office buildings, condominiums and serviced apartments.’

The company, which owns 4ha in Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur, has leased the land to the service and manufacturing industries.

“We can turn it into commercial buildings like office buildings, condominiums and serviced apartments in the future,” he told reporters after the company's AGM.

Hashim said that newspaper circulation and advertising would remain significant contributors to the group's revenue on a 60:40 ratio.

“Our Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo circulations are on the rise this year, with Utusan Malaysia's circulation up at 171,000, from 151,000 last year, while Kosmo's has increased to 220,000 from 208,000 previously,” he said.

Commenting on the company's poor performance in the first quarter of the year, Hashim said it was due to reduced advertisement revenue.

“We are hoping, in the second half of the year, things will be brighter given the impending Euro Cup and general election as it will mean more advertisement revenue,” he said.

The company registered a pre-tax loss of RM8.679mil for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a pre-tax profit of RM1.369mil a year earlier.

By Bernama

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