Petaling Jaya – Media Prima Berhad (Media Prima) is strengthening operations and priming itself for its next phase of growth as it prepares to unlock the potential of the enlarged Group, which now has a larger stake in New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad (NSTP). Media Prima announced a final single tier dividend of 5.6 cents per ordinary share at its 9th Annual General Meeting, bringing the dividends declared by the Group in 2009 to 10.0 cents per ordinary share, which represents a pay-out ratio of 36% based on profit from continuing operations. Media Prima also announced that all resolutions were carried and approved by the shareholders. Media Prima’s newly acquired niche-market leader in outdoor advertising, Kurnia Outdoor Sdn Bhd as well as Jupiter Outdoor Network Sdn Bhd (collectively known as ‘Kurnia’) will also create a stronger presence to strategically position the Group in an ever-changing media landscape. Despite the local media industry being close to peaking, the Group Managing Director of Media Prima, Dato’ Amrin Awaluddin believes that there is still some room for growth. “The ever-changing market requires us to continue reinventing ourselves to ensure that we remain relevant, and the media provider of choice. As we’ve seen in more developed markets, there’s been a shift towards content creation and Media Prima is on the ball with our content creation arm, Primeworks Studios taking centre stage this year. This new direction should see the studio contributing more significantly toward the Group’s revenues in the coming years,” said Amrin. Media Prima in early April entered into an agreement with Telekom Malaysia (TM) to be one of its main content providers for TM’s recently launched Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). Under the agreement Media Prima will supply content and channels for video-on-demand (VOD) and specialized channels as part of TM’s triple-play offering, that serves as a value-added service for its High Speed Broadband (HSBB) customer. For its financial year ended 31 December 2009, Media Prima announced a profit after tax and minority interests (PATAMI) of RM194.8 million against RM86.02 million achieved in 2008. Excluding negative goodwill, exceptional items and losses from Primedia, the Group recorded a commendable PATAMI of RM73.8 million. In addition, during the proceedings of its Extraordinary General Meeting, Media Prima announced the withdrawal of 7 of the 11 resolutions for the proposed Employees’ Share Option Scheme (ESOS). The resolutions that were withdrawn involved the allocation of ESOS options to the independent and non-independent non-executive directors of the Group. The proposal was to establish and implement an ESOS of up to 10% of the issued and paid-up share capital of the Company, and involved the granting of ESOS options to eligible employees of Media Prima and its subsidiaries as well as any directors (whether executive or non-executive) of Media Prima and the executive directors of any of the subsidiaries of Media Prima, to subscribe for new ordinary shares of RM1.00 each in MPB in accordance with the By-Laws of the Scheme. All other resolutions under the ESOS proposal, specifically the allocations for executive directors were approved unanimously by the shareholders present.
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