ComfortDelgro – BT

ComfortDelGro’s full-year profit falls 8.8% to $223m

COMFORTDELGRO’S net profit for the full year ended Dec 31, 2007 slipped 8.8 per cent to $223 million, despite revenue growing 8 per cent to $3.02 billion on the strong performance of its overseas bus and taxi operations.

The drop in earnings was due to an exceptional gain of $42.1 million the previous year from a share exchange with partner Cabcharge Australia, a taxi charge card company. Stripping out that gain, net profit would have increased 10.1 per cent.

The land transport giant said that this is the first time that revenue has crossed the $3 billion mark. Overseas turnover, led by the UK, China and Australia, accounted for 47 per cent of the group’s total turnover, up from 45 per cent the previous year.

Operating profit grew by 9.6 per cent to $334.8 million, with overseas operations accounting for 46 per cent of this record figure – up from 42 per cent the year before. But total operating expenses rose 7.8 per cent to $2.68 billion, with the biggest component – staff costs – spiking 10.2 per cent to $950.7 million. Energy and fuel costs were up 10.7 per cent to $216.9 million.

Full-year turnover for the bus business rose 11.9 per cent to $1.5 billion. Turnover from overseas bus operations accounted for 62 per cent of this figure – the fourth consecutive year that it has been higher than that of Singapore operations.

Listed unit SBS Transit’s revenue for the full year to Dec 31, 2007 rose 6.6 per cent to $670 million on higher bus and rail fare, as well as higher advertisement revenue. But its net profit fell 10.9 per cent to $50 million on higher operating expenses from depreciation, repairs and maintenance, and staff and fuel costs. SBS, whose 2007 earnings per share were 16.37 cents (down from 2006’s 18.52 cents), proposed a final dividend of 3.25 cents a share.

Meanwhile, turnover from ComfortDelGro’s taxi business grew 5.9 per cent to $917.3 million, with overseas taxi operations making up 40 per cent of total taxi turnover. In Singapore, turnover grew 4.9 per cent to $552.7 million due to a surge in corporate jobs and call bookings.

The rail business rolled to an 18.2 per cent increase in turnover to $90.5 million on increased patronage of the North-east MRT Line and the two LRT lines. Operating profit was $9.2 million, up from $600,000 the year before, marking its second year in the black.

ComfortDelgro’s earnings per share fell to 10.73 cents from 11.82 cents the previous year, while net asset value for the group rose to 71.11 cents from 69.61 cents a year ago.

Leave a Reply