Sing Tao News Corp (1105), which publishes The Standard, raised the dividend payout by 12 percent as the top line in its media business expanded in a tough, competitive environment.
Media business revenue rose 5.3 percent to HK$2.05 billion last year from 2010. Net profit for last year hit HK$145 million, versus HK$265 million in 2010. Sing Tao declared a final dividend of 5 HK cents per share. Combined with the interim dividend, the payout amounts to 9.5 HK cents, up from 8.5 HK cents a year ago.
Headline Daily, with an average daily circulation of 900,000 copies in the fourth quarter, remained the clear frontrunner in the local free newspaper market despite the launch of two other free dailies.
A robust advertising market benefited the magazines business, with East Week achieving a record high profit.