SingPost – BT

SingPost commits to dividend policy

SINGAPORE Post announced yesterday that it remains committed to its minimum quarterly dividend policy of 1.25 cents per share, despite a 5.6 per cent year-on-year fall in net profit to $37.4 million for the second quarter ended Sept 30.

The weaker profit was due to a $1.3 million one-off expense from the winding up of an associated company in Q2 2008 and the inclusion in Q2 2007 of a one-off gain of $5.6 million largely from the disposal of a property. Excluding one-off items, the group’s underlying net profit was 11.4 per cent higher at $38.7 million.

Revenue for the quarter grew 4.1 per cent to $120.7 million on the back of improved performances across its three business segments – mail, logistics and retail. Earnings per share for Q2 were 1.943 cents, down from the previous corresponding quarter’s 2.065 cents.

For the first half of the financial year, net profit dipped 1.5 per cent to $76.88 million, from $78 million. Revenue rose 4.3 per cent year-on-year to $241.58 million.

Mail revenue for Q2 grew 2.8 per cent to $91.7 million as its various business lines – domestic mail, international mail, hybrid mail and the philatelic business – posted stronger contributions.

Logistics revenue was up 6.4 per cent to $18.8 million during the quarter as revenue from warehousing, fulfilment and distribution grew 28.9 per cent. vPOST also launched a new service, shop@Europe, during the quarter.

Continued growth in financial services such as remittances resulted in an 8.6 per cent increase in revenue to $16.6 million for SingPost’s retail business.

The group’s rental and property-related income also increased 39.3 per cent to $8.2 million due to higher rental income from Singapore Post Centre (SPC). The group is still continuing to review opportunities to unlock the value of SPC, it said.

Group CEO Wilson Tan said: ‘Like other companies, we face an increasingly challenging business environment. Cost containment becomes even more critical; we are taking additional measures to manage costs across the board. While we are focused on costs, we are not taking our eyes off our growth objective.’

SingPost closed at 65 cents yesterday, up 1.5 cents.

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