Bermuda Press profits rise on cost-cutting
Bermuda Press (Holdings) Ltd's profits more than tripled in the first half of its fiscal year, even as revenue slumped.
The company, which owns The Royal Gazette, as well as commercial printing, retail and real-estate interests, said net income for the six months ended March 31, 2016, was $502,000, compared to $145,000 in the same period of the previous year.
Revenue fell by $1.15 million, or 8 per cent, to $13.14 million during the half-year. In a statement, BPHL put the improvement in profitability down to a reduction in operating costs, particularly at Island Press Ltd, Bermuda.com Ltd and Bermuda.com Guide Ltd. The profitability of these three businesses, acquired from MediaHouse Ltd two years ago, improved by $450,000 year over year.
It added that an increase in the cover price of The Royal Gazette from $1 to $1.50 from April, was expected to increase revenues in the second half of the year.
BPHL said its most profitable segment was real estate, with its investment properties maintaining an occupancy rate of 98 per cent.
Since its annual report, BPHL has reinstated a 5 cents per share dividend, after a dividend suspension since September 2014.
The company also announced a $1 million share buyback plan on March 1, but said no shares had been bought back to date under this programme.
The company added that it was working towards the Investors in People certification — an international set of human resource management standards.
“Bermuda's economy remains fragile and the economic recovery is dependent on increasing the number of jobs and overall population,” the company commented, adding that its future success is linked to growth in the local economy and increased consumer confidence.