Dear Shareholders,


The past year was marked by significant challenges.

Economic conditions remained uncertain and uneven, exacerbated by escalating geopolitical tensions that continued to strain the local economy. Market sentiment stayed cautious amid high local interest rates, further compounded by a slower-than-expected economic recovery in China, impacting the markets in which the Group operates.

Soft consumer spending cast a shadow over retail markets, affecting demand for advertising space and leading to a decline in turnover for the Group’s Publishing and Printing segment across all markets. However, amidst these challenges, there was a silver lining. The Group experienced notable growth in its travel business turnover as global travel resumed.



Despite facing challenges, the Group achieved an impressive 10.8% turnover growth to US$147,018,000 for the year ended 31 March 2024. While the Travel segment’s turnover surged by 278.4% to US$39,619,000, the Publishing and Printing segment’s turnover declined by 12.1% to US$107,399,000.

Despite this growth in turnover, a loss before income tax of US$13,597,000 was reported, mainly attributed to the provisions for impairment losses of certain plant and machinery and intangible assets, the absence of government subsidies, and a decrease in turnover within the Publishing and Printing segment, which typically yields higher margins.

On a positive note, excluding the provisions for impairment losses of certain plant and machinery and intangible assets totalling US$8,064,000, the Group achieved a profit before income tax of US$860,000 in the fourth quarter. This marked a significant turnaround from the previous quarters of losses, and demonstrated our resilience and strategic adaptability.

The loss per share for the year was US0.76 cents.

As of 31 March 2024, net assets stood at US7.61 cents, with a net gearing ratio of zero.


Throughout the year, we have diligently managed our cost base to address challenges stemming from declining print revenue and inflation.

We carefully managed publication availability across Malaysian markets and implemented strategic price increases and promotional activities to minimise volume decreases.

Despite anticipating a persistently difficult operating environment, we have taken proactive steps to rebalance our business and position the
Group for the future.

Our focus remains on:

(i) Enhancing audience engagement by adapting to the evolving needs of both our audiences and advertisers through outstanding
journalism, talent, innovation, and creativity,

(ii) Optimising integration to drive revenue growth, cost synergies, and operational efficiencies, and

(iii) Diversifying our revenue streams — while print remains significant, serving as both a revenue source and a trusted news outlet for millions, our overarching strategy continues to shift steadily toward digital.


Additionally, we are committed to expanding our tour business by capitalising on emerging trends and changing customer needs.


Despite the rapidly shifting audience behaviour and digital trends, our core objective remains unchanged: to enlighten and entertain our
audiences whenever they engage with us. Great content remains the cornerstone of our business, and this year, our teams produced an
abundance of it.

Our publications serve as vital links connecting people and communities across Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Chinese-speaking regions worldwide. Our journalists work tirelessly to cover stories that resonate deeply with the communities they serve. We must deliver accurate, independent journalism that everyone can rely on and address the issues most relevant to them. Whether in print or online, our journalism amplifies the voices of others and champions causes close to their hearts.

In an era plagued by misinformation, our commitment to producing trusted, quality content as a regulated news publisher ensures that people and communities have a reliable news source that advocates on their behalf. We uphold the highest ethical standards in our journalistic practices and have zero tolerance for inaccuracies, misleading information, or distortion of facts.

We are aware of the challenges posed by AI to publishers, including how the content is utilised to train AI engines, surfaced in searches, and
synthesised in ways that may compromise its integrity. We recognise the importance of responsible AI usage to safeguard journalism and society. This shared responsibility positions us well for the future, even as AI advancements continue to impact various industries. We understand the necessity of a convergence between technology, commerce, and culture.


In the face of ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, we are prioritising securing our audience and strengthening our data-driven digital business. This entails fostering direct relationships with our audiences to ensure resilience in the evolving landscape.

To enhance operational efficiency, we are aligning our cost base with market conditions. By optimising team structures, we aim to boost
productivity and ensure long-term sustainability and success. Furthermore, the Group will explore the integration of AI technologies to further enhance our process efficiency and product capabilities, leveraging cutting-edge solutions to drive business growth.

Continuing to seek opportunities for synergy across our businesses, we are fostering collaboration and partnering in key areas such as audience consolidation, data and technology utilisation, and advertising sales. By leveraging shared resources and expertise, we aim to drive mutual growth and resilience in the face of ongoing challenges.


With the economic loss caused by climate change experienced globally, the Board is committed to reviewing the risks and strategic actions related to climate change. This will include looking at ways to manage or mitigate such risks. As such, the Board will lead initiatives to enhance the Group’s sustainability practices related to climate change.

Further, good governance practices continue to be a focus in the Group. Details of the Group’s corporate governance initiatives, risk management, internal control policies and sustainability efforts are set out in the relevant sections of this Annual Report.


The Board has declared an interim dividend in lieu of final dividend of US0.15 cents per ordinary share payable on 9 July 2024 for the financial year 2023/24. This represents a dividend yield of 5.7% based on the Company’s closing price on 31 March 2024.


I wish to thank our shareholders, readers, followers, advertisers, business partners, and other stakeholders for their unwavering support of the Group through the years. I would also like to thank our management and staff for going through this challenging year with us and giving their best to ensure the Group will emerge stronger from these difficult times.

Tiong Choon

Non-Executive Chairman

28 May 2024