Saturday, December 16, 2006

Paid daily says it's not hurt by free dailies

Hong Kong's newspaper market has got to be one of the world's most competitive with several paid papers competing against three strong and profitable free dailies -- Metro Publishing Hong Kong's Metro Daily, Sing Tao's Headline Daily and property agent Centaline Group's am 730. But the South China Morning Post reports that Ming Pao Enterprise, the publisher of Chinese language quality daily Ming Pao Daily News, isn't blaming the free papers for its decline in profits. Ming Pao's net profit fell 7 per cent to HK$15.09 million in the company's first half to September 30 from HK$16.3 million a year earlier as revenue jumped 11 per cent to HK$735 million. The company declared an unchanged interim dividend of 3 HK cents. "We don't see any setback from the free dailies," chief executive Francis Tiong said. Tiong said next year ought to be better with more real estate projects hitting the market, resulting in more ad sales.