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SMI Announces 2014 Interim Results

Benefited From The Flourishing Chinese Film Industry

All Business Segment Record Rapid Growth

HONG KONG, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Financial Highlight

6 months ended 30 June

HK$’000

2014

2013

Change

Turnover

874,641

649,097

+34.7%

Revenue

874,641

632,671

+38.2%

Gross Profit

564,349

343,289

+64.4%

Gross Profit Margin

64.5%

54.3%

+10.2p.p.

Profit for the period attributable to owner of the Company

101,004

69,961

+44.4%

Earnings per share (basic)(HK cents)

1.13

0.86

31.4%

SMI Corporate Limited (HKSE stock code: 198, the "Company" or "SMI") and its subsidiaries (collectively the "Group") announced its results and financial position for the 6 months ended 30 June 2014. During the reporting period, the turnover of the Group increased 34.7% to approximatedly HK$874.6 million (6 months ended 30 June 2013: HK$649.1 million). Profit for the period attributable to owner of the Company increased 44.4% to approximately HK$101.0 million (6 months ended 30 June 2013: HK$70.0 million).

The Board does not recommend interim dividend for the 6 months ended 30 June 2014.  

During the reporting period, the Group’s operating revenue increased 38% to approximately HK875 million (6 months ended 30 Jun 2013: HK$633 million). The revenue contributed from Xingmeihui surged by 4.4 times to approximately HK$114. Gross profit margin significantly increased 10.2 percentage point to 64.5% as compared with the corresponding period in 2013.

Business Review

Movie Theater Business

Benefited from the flourishing Chinese film industry, the movie theater business of SMI developed healthily. For the first half of 2014, the movie theater business has generated revenue of approximately HK$761 million, representing an increase of 46% as compared to the corresponding period of last year, while the profit increased by 217% to approximately HK$168 million (6 months ended 30 June 2013: HK$53 million).

During the reporting period, the Group has a total of 83 movie theaters with 582 screens in major cities in China, representing an increase of 22% and 19% respectively. (6 months ended 30 June 2013: 68 movie theaters; 490 screens) While securing its leading position in first tier cities, SMI expanded its movie theatres footprints to second and third tier cities and has opend 15 new movie theaters in the first half of 2014 in Xi’an, Wuxi and other cities. The Group expects to have 100 SMI movie theaters nationwide by the end of 2014.

Advertising and Promotion Business

During the reporting period, the Group achieved a great leap forward in its advertising and promotion business, and recorded a revenue of approximately HK$188 million, representing an increase of 141% compared to the corresponding period of last year. With the objective to satisfy the different advertising needs of customers, the Group has rationalized the arrangement of the idle time and space of movie theaters, screening halls and projection screens, and utilizing advanced facilities like LED panels to develop its advertising and promotion business on an on-going basis.

New Membership Intergrated Marketing Scheme ("New Membership Scheme")

The New Membership Scheme has helped SMI to get a systematic understanding of customers’ needs, secure existing customers and develop new customers, as well as build up a complete customer database. During the Reporting Period, the Group continued to push the New Membership Scheme forward and bring it into full play, and has further expanded the Group’s membership database and secured the future development of the Group’s core business and complementary business.

Movie and TV series production Business

As a strategic move, the Group has gradually transferring its movie and TV series production business to SMI Culture Group Holdings Limited (stock code: 2366), another listing vehicle of the Group, since the beginning of 2014. In the future, SMI Culture will focus on developing contents production business. At present, the Company held 29.97% of the issued share capital of SMI Culture.

New Complementary Businesses — Xingmeihui

SMI established Xingmeihui in 2012, which is the first-ever movie theater O2O eShop in China. After two years of planning and development, Xingmeihui has experienced a super-strong growth during the Reporting Period. The segment achieved a revenue of approximately HK$114 million, increased significantly by 443% as compared with the corresponding period in 2013, and recorded a profit of approximately HK$10 million, representing a huge increase by 1,100% as compared with the corresponding period in 2013.

Xingmeihui has grown strong to become the new engine for the Group’s development, and is expected to bring stable and strong contribution to us in the future. As at 30 June 2014, the Group has a total of 83 Xingmeihui in-theater counters, and will set relevant stores beyond the Group’s movie theaters, which will mostly be located at large social community and crowded shopping malls.

Prospects

The Group will continue expanding its cinema terminal as planned, with an aim to capture the opportunities in area with lower penetration by following our strategy to shift our development focus from first tier cities to second and third tier cities. SMI expects to have 100 movie theaters by the end of 2014, and further increase to 200 theaters in three years’ time.

SMI will increase investment in setting up Xingmeihui’s channels, and plans to have a total of 200 Xingmeihui stores in 2014, and further increase to 1,000 stores in three years’ time. The Group will also cooperate with famous brand on an on-going basis and remain innovative.

Mr. Cheng Chi Chung, Chief Executive Officer of SMI, said: "The film industry in China has entered into a golden period of growth. In the future, the Group will keep on consolidating its existing businesses and business model innovation, so as to face the opportunities and challenges in the industry. Looking forward, the Group will continue to lead the Chinese culture industry, and to ensure the sustained growth of performance by taking advantage of its powerful platform nationwide, so as to create greater value for shareholders."

To see the full version of this release, click here: http://photos.prnasia.com/prnk/20140829/8521404896-a

About SMI Corporation Limited (00198.HK)

SMI Corporation Limited (00198.HK) is a listed company on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited ("HKSE"). Cinema operator, film investment and new complementary businesses (Xingmeihui and Advertising and Promotion business) are the principal businesses of the Company. Under the strong management team and powerful business network, the number of SMI cinemas has increased drastically from 3 cinemas in 2009 to 68 cinemas by the end of December of 2013. Mr. Cheng Chi Chung is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, who oversees the general direction of the Company and actively involves in cinema and Xingmeihui business. Mr. Cheng is being supported by a competent management team of 8-10 senior executives, who have well experience in relevant fields.

The9 Limited Announces the Joint Venture with Qihoo 360 Obtained the Publishing and Operating License of Firefall in China

SHANGHAI, August 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY) (“The9”), an online game developer and operator, announced that Red 5 Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“Red 5 Singapore”), a subsidiary of The9, has entered into a license agreement with System Link Limited for publishing and operating Firefall® for a five-year term in mainland China. Under this license agreement, System Link Limited will pay to Red 5 Singapore at least US$160 million including license fee and royalties during the contract period. Firefall® is a MMO shooter game developed by Red 5 Studios, Inc., a subsidiary of The9. System Link Limited is a joint venture formed by The9 and Qihoo 360 Technology Co., Ltd.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited is an online game developer and operator. The9 develops and operates, directly or through its affiliates, its proprietary MMO, web and mobile games including Firefall® and NBA web and mobile games. In 2010, The9 established its wireless business unit to focus on mobile internet business including mobile reading platform KingReader and mobile advertising platform Juzi. In 2013, The9 formed a joint venture with Shanghai ZTE to develop and operate home entertainment set top box business.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Phyllis Sai
Manager, Investor Relations
The9 Limited
Tel: +86 (21) 5172-9990
Email: IR@corp.the9.com
Website: http://www.corp.the9.com

The9 Limited Announces Sale of Certain Businesses

SHANGHAI, August 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY) (“The9”), an online game developer and operator, announced today that Shanghai The9 Information Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned consolidated variable interest entity of The9, has closed a transaction with Shanghai Zhengwu Investment Center (Limited Partnership) for sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Shanghai Huopu Cloud Computing Terminal Technology Co., Ltd. (“Huopu Cloud”) for a total consideration of RMB200 million in cash. Huopu Cloud holds a web game QiJiGuiLai and has the right to receive a minority portion of royalties generated from operation of the game Firefall® in mainland China upon payment and other conditions. Firefall® is a MMO shooter game developed by Red 5 Studios, Inc., a subsidiary of The9.

The9 has obtained a fair market value appraisal from an independent valuation advisory firm prior to the completion of the transaction. The board of directors of the Company reviewed the transaction and approved it. The9 intends to use the proceeds of the sale for developing and operating its other MMO, web and mobile games.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited is an online game developer and operator. The9 develops and operates, directly or through its affiliates, its proprietary MMO, web and mobile games including Firefall® and NBA web and mobile games. In 2010, The9 established its wireless business unit to focus on mobile internet business including mobile reading platform KingReader and mobile advertising platform Juzi. In 2013, The9 formed a joint venture with Shanghai ZTE to develop and operate home entertainment set top box business.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Phyllis Sai
Manager, Investor Relations
The9 Limited
Tel: +86 (21) 5172-9990
Email: IR@corp.the9.com
Website: http://www.corp.the9.com

Mobile Games Power MNC Media Investment’s Turnover Surges to US$27m in 1H2014

– Mobile games sales in China soared more than four-fold to US$18.3million in 1H2014 from US$4.0 million in 1H2013

– Parenting portal “Fumubang” in China reaches 400,000 targeted users within first year of launch

– Cash per Chess Depositary Interests (“CDIs”) as at 30 Jun 2014 is US$2.90, which is close to two times of current valuation

SINGAPORE, August 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Within six months of its repositioning, MNC Media Investment Ltd (ASX: MIH) (“MNCMI” or “the Group”), a provider of media and entertainment content and services in key strategic markets in Asia, has seen its sales soar to US$27.0 million in 1H2014.

Hary Tanosoedibjo, Chairman and CEO of the Group said: “The Group’s repositioning and transformation have borne fruit. Our strategic focus on digital games – particularly mobile games in China – has given us a shot in the arm – driving our performance up significantly in the first six months of this year. Compared to same period last year, we reduced our losses by 63% to US$1.9 million.

“With the positive results garnered from our vigorous efforts in the digital games/mobile games industry, we believe that our games will continue to build greater traction in our key market, China – in the coming months.

“We will focus on building a rich portfolio of media assets focusing on mobile games, social commerce and leisuretainment industries, in populous markets such as China and South East Asia. With a population of more than 200 million in Indonesia, the world’s fourth populous country, and 1.3 billion in China, the world’s most populous country, the opportunities for growth are extensive. We are confident that our prospects for the full year will be positive.”

Financial Performance

Revenue surged 48% to US$27 million for the first six months ended June 30, 2014 (“1H2014”) compared to the six-month period ended December 31, 2013 (“2H2013”).

This was up 11% or US$2.6 million compared to the corresponding period last year (“1H2013”).

The leap in sales was mainly due to the Group’s new strategic emphasis on its mobile gaming business – which saw more than four-fold surge in mobile games sales in China.

Gross profit eased 8% to US$7.2 million from US$7.8 million in 1H2013. This was due to the distribution costs of mobile games and licensing fees for popular intellectual properties and animation characters such as Boonie Bears for the development and distribution of mobile games.

With the surge in sales, the Group trimmed its net loss from US$5.2 million in 1H2013 to US$1.9 million in 1H2014.

The net loss in 1H2014 was also cushioned by a net foreign exchange gain of US$1.9 million, compared to US$2.0 million of net foreign exchange loss in 1H2013. This foreign exchange gain was due to the appreciation of the Indonesia Rupiah against the US Dollar, which resulted in a significant foreign exchange gain for the Group’s quoted investments that are denominated in Indonesia Rupiah.

Working Capital Position

The Group’s financial position remains healthy. Cash and cash equivalents remained relatively stable – easing marginally to US$27.5 million as at June 30, 2014 from US$28.3 million as at December 31, 2013.

Cash per Chess Depositary Interests (“CDIs”) as at 30 Jun 2014 was US$2.90, which is close to two times of the CDIs current valuation.

Group operational cash outflow improved from US$3.8 million in 1H2013 to US$0.9 million in 1H2014.

Earnings Per Ordinary Share and Net Tangible Assets Per Share

The Group’s Loss Per Ordinary Share was reduced to US 0.5 cent in 1H2014, compared to Loss Per Share of US 1.3 cents in 1H2013 while its Net Tangible Assets per share increased to US 39 cents as at June 30, 2014 from US 36 cents as at December 31, 2013.

Segmental Performance

Mobile and PC Games

Revenue from the Group’s mobile games business in China, which is operated by the Group’s subsidiary, Letang, was US$18.3million in 1HFY2014 soaring more than four-fold from US$4.0 million in 1H2013. Contributions from mobile games now represent 68% of the Group’s total revenue, up from 16% in 1H2013. Letang, a fast-growing mobile games company in Hefei, China, has achieved over 100 million downloads for its latest casual game Boonie Bear. This six-month old game has garnered revenue of close to US$14 million from China gamers alone. Letang will continue to focus on acquiring popular IPs for developing new games for China and International markets, including Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and Southeast Asia.

Revenue from its PC games business also climbed 25% from US$0.4 million to US$0.5 million in 1H2014.

Social Commerce

The Social Commerce segment contributed 7% to the Group’s total revenue. It achieved sales of US$1.8 million in 1H2014, 63.6% higher than the sales of US$1.1 million recorded in 1H2013.

Under this segment, the Group owns a parenting and family-oriented entertainment portal, fumubang.com (“Fumubang”), which was developed and launched in Shanghai and Beijing in the second half of 2013. Adopting offline and online marketing strategies, Fumubang now has more than 400,000 highly targeted users (parents). While sales of US$1 million for the first half of 2014 in Shanghai and Beijing were highly encouraging, the Group will also seek to expand into other populous cities in China.

Outside of China, the Group also owns some online news and entertainment portals, including Okezone.com in Indonesia, which currently has over two million daily users, and a nascent e-retail business portal, Happybuys.com, which focuses on bringing popular entertainment related products to families worldwide at local prices.

Media Content

The Media Content business represents 16% of the Group’s total revenue. It recorded US$4.4 million in sales in 1H2014, against sales of US$5.4 million in 1H2013. The decline is due to the weak demand for DVDs in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

The Media Content business is operated by the Group’s subsidiary, Innoform, which generates revenue from three categories namely, video (which includes the acquisition, licensing, and distribution of Asian and non Asian movies, and kids content across multiple platforms such as theatres television, video discs, and online and mobile devices in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia), music (which includes licensing of karaoke music videos), as well as staging of concerts and events.

Telecommunication Value Added services (VAS)

Since its strategic transformation in the first six months of this year, the Group has trimmed its telecommunication value-added services (VAS) business significantly, while boosting its focus on mobile games.

The VAS business achieved sales of US$2 million in 1H2014 – down from US$13.5 million in the corresponding period last year. The decline is in line with the Group’s strategy to transition away from the VAS business, and this revenue is from the licensing of the VAS short codes to third parties operators.

Going Forward

According to market research company EEDAR’s research in 2014, the number of gamers in China is 517 million, surpassing the total number of citizens in the United States. China Game Publishers Association Publications Committee (“GPC”) has also forecast that the games market in China will have an average annual growth rate of 15% from 2014 to 2017.

Southeast Asian markets are also experiencing rapid growth in online/mobile games. According to the report from Niko Partners, the Southeast Asian games market, (which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) will reach US$1.2 billion by 2017, double the figure in 2013.

With the recent change in China’s one-child policy to allow parents (who are themselves single children) – to have two children, the number of babies is expected to grow substantially. With grandparents and parents doting on only two children, there is tremendous growth potential for our parenting portal Fumubang.com.

Going forward, in view of these favourable trends, the Group maintains an optimistic outlook for FY2014. For the second half ending 31 December 2014, the Group anticipates gross revenues to be in the range of US$23 million to US$27 million. These forecasts reflect the Company’s current and preliminary view, which is subject to change.

About MNC Media Investment Ltd

MNC Media Investment Ltd is a provider of rich and engaging services and content to a wide range of traditional and new media consumers and enterprises in Mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. It focuses on media, entertainment, communication and edutainment products, which are promoted through the Group’s strong nationwide distribution networks, integrated service platforms and multiple marketing sales channels, as well as through the networks of leading mobile operators in Mainland China and Indonesia.

Release issued on behalf of MNC Media Investment Ltd by Stratagem Consultants Pte Ltd

For more information, please contact:

Tham Moon Yee, Lee Yew Meng and Lucas Yang Xiaoguang
Tel: (65) 6227 0502
Emails:
tmy@stratagemconsultants.com
yewmeng@stratagemconsultants.com
lucasy@stratagemconsultants.com

Of Great Historical, Artistic and Religious Importance – a Unique Byzantine Gold Medallion to be Auctioned by Roma Numismatics Ltd of Mayfair, London

LONDON, Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Ancient artefact expected to bring GBP800,000+ in Roma Numismatics’ Sept. 28 auction; on display at 20 Hanover Square, Sept. 1-27. 

A unique and highly important Byzantine gold medallion is expected to fetch GBP800,000+ when it is offered at auction in September by London-based auctioneer Roma Numismatics Ltd. It is among 1,200 superb ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins that are being sold in the firm’s autumn auction. The medallion was struck as part of the grand imperial wedding celebrations for the princess Charito, daughter of the emperor Tiberius II Constantine, to Germanus, the supreme commander of the Byzantine armies, on or around Christmas Day in 583 AD. It weighs over 100 grams, and is one of the very largest gold medallions known to have survived antiquity.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140828/703399)

This grand imperial medallion depicts a remarkable series of illustrations from the story of the life of Christ as related by early Christian texts, of which some have no peer or parallel in surviving Byzantine precious metal art. The front features a highly detailed portrayal of the Annunciation, in which the Angel Gabriel delivers his message to Mary that she shall conceive the son of God. It also shows two smaller scenes of the Visitation and the Nativity. The whole of the reverse is dedicated to an image of Christ’s Ascension to Heaven as his disciples look on. It is believed that this medallion preserves the earliest surviving images of the Annunciation and Ascension in gold.

The medallion is comparable only to the famous specimen in the Dumbarton Oaks Museum (Washington D.C., USA) with which it shares a great many similarities, and a lesser example currently residing in the Christian Schmidt Collection (Munich, Germany). All three appear to have been the work of the same imperial artisan and were produced within a very short time-span.

Richard Beale, director of auctioneer Roma Numismatics, said: "This incredible piece is tremendously significant, not only from a historical perspective, but also because of the rich religious symbolism woven into its design. The scenes as portrayed here became the standard model for all subsequent Byzantine and Orthodox depictions of these key moments from the life of Christ. It is thus of immense importance within the fields of both Byzantine and early Christian art."

Richard Beale, info@romanumismatics.com, +44-(0)20-3178-2874