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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Will Syed Mokhtar Bukhari Bail Out Utusan Malaysia ?

Image result for syed mokhtar bukhariImage result for utusan malaysia
Why not? Takkan Syed Mokhtar ambil syarikat yang bisnes monopoli saja? 

Utusan  Malaysia is in very, very deep stuff. They have suffered losses of RM83 million in 2014.  In 2013 their losses were RM20 million.  

Here is the news from Free Malaysia Today
  • Umno’s Utusan records RM83 million loss for 2014
    Media Prima's profits also down RM101 m from RM290 m
  • Utusan continued haemorrhage 
  • RM82.64 m losses 2014, four-fold increase, RM20.39 m previous year
  • higher impairment charges on trade and other receivables
  • revenue dipped to RM291.32 m during year from RM342.43 m
  • weaker contribution from publishing, distribution, advertising
  • Utusan not only Umno company in poor financial state.
  • Media Prima sharply lower pre-tax of RM101.44 m down from RM289.98 m
  • Media Prima has equity in TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9.
  • group’s revenue fell to RM1.51 billion from RM1.72 billion previously
 - See more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/02/26/umnos-utusan-records-rm83-million-loss-for-2014/#sthash.06W6KWMM.dpuf

My comments : I had some inside information about this from a few months back. Not only are the revenues and profits down but as a consequence the cashflow is also pretty tight. 

Utusan has been surviving on direct cash injections from UMNO. To the tune of around RM40 million per injection (this info has since appeared in the public domain).  If this continues, I think UMNO may suffer an overdose as well, from all the injections.

Revenues are down, advertising revenue is also  down.  But read this folks : 'higher impairment charges on trade and other receivables'

This means Utusan did not collect debts owing to them. Utusan tak pi kutip duit yang orang lain hutang kepada Utusan.  Why not?  If you dont collect your debts then who is going to pay you back your money?

Utusan has also been losing money paying libel damages in Court. Utusan has been sued left, right and center by quite a few people. More often than not, Utusan has been losing these libel cases in the Courts, as a result of which the company has had to pay millions in damages. 

This is not good for a newspaper. If people sue you for printing untruths and keep winning their suits in Court, it diminishes your credibility. 

When your credibility is down, then advertisers will shy away from you.  Who in their right mind will advertise in a newspaper that has been found guilty of printing untruths? And more than once.

And please dont blame Dr Mahathir.  Utusan is also identified as UMNO's mouthpiece. I think this is ok. During Dr Mahathir's time, Utusan was also UMNO's mouthpiece but the newspaper had no problems. Dr Mahathir hardly gave Utusan any extra money. Utusan survived very well for 22 years during Dr Mahathir's time.  So what happened now?

Compared to Dr Mahathir's time, now UMNO is spending money like there is no tomorrow.  Dyeing the hair alone costs RM1200 satu kepala. UMNO is throwing money out by the billions. Yet, Utusan is making losses and is in dire financial straits. So what happened? 

Media Prima's revenues and profits are also dropping. And they are in a monopolistic business  - TV3 license, TV7 & TV8 licenses. Licenses for Berita Harian, Metro, New Straits Times etc. This is a very tightly controlled and restricted business.  So what is happening?

Well for one, Utusan and Berita Harian are taking a beating from Sinar Harian, the new kid on the block. Sinar is more balanced in their reporting and is therefore more popular with the readers.

Utusan as I said gets sued left, right and center for printing "not necessarily the news".  Klentong pun ada lah.

But Utusan's biggest problem is the fact that it is UMNO's mouthpiece. Suka tak suka Utusan Malaysia must carry the Prime Minister, his wife and news about UMNO and the gomen in its pages. 

If the PM is a Dr Mahathir type personality, then of course Utusan also dapat untung. 

But when the PM is a dunggu, his wife is indescribable and the Ministers and party leaders are mostly clowning around then of course Utusan will also suffer.

Utusan cerminkan parti dan pemimpin. Jika parti dan pemimpin elok, nasib Utusan pun cerah. Kalau parti dan pemimpin malap, maka Utusan pun akan blackout. 

So what is the solution? 

Option A  :  Tukar saja pemimpin. Problem solved.

Option B : Why not ask Syed Mokhtar Bukhari  to take over Utusan? Takkan Syed Mokhtar takeover syarikat yang elok saja? Because for how long can UMNO keep "injecting" money into Utusan? 

Soalan cepu mas : which option is easier?

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