SBSTransit – BT

SBS Transit Q3 profit rises 27% to $10.6m

LOWER energy costs and government measures helped SBS Transit to offset the temporary fare reduction and post a 27.2 per cent increase in net profit to $10.58 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009.

But third-quarter revenue fell by 7.6 per cent to $174.33 million mainly because of the lower bus fare revenue.

Singapore’s biggest public transport operator said that Q3 operating expenses fell by 9.2 per cent, or $16.4 million, from $178.8 million in the same quarter the previous year, thanks to substantially lower fuel and electricity costs, as well as savings from the Singapore Government Budget 2009. But these were partially offset by higher depreciation, and repair and maintenance expenses.

Revenue from bus operations in Q3 fell 9.6 per cent to $136.3 million because of the fare reduction package, which began on April 1 this year, as well as the increase in transfer rebate. It was also affected by lower ridership, which was down 2.9 per cent in the third quarter.

But Q3 operating profit for bus operations rose 82.1 per cent to $1.6 million on lower fuel cost, which was partially offset by lower bus fare revenue, lower other operating income, higher depreciation expense and higher staff costs.

Rail operations saw revenue inch up 0.5 per cent in Q3 to $27.4 million on a 3.9 per cent increase in ridership for the North-East Line, and a 3.1 per cent rise for the two light rail transit systems. Together with lower electricity cost, they helped to push Q3 operating profit up 66.9 per cent to $3.6 million.

Earnings per share in the third quarter rose to 3.44 cents from 2.70 cents in the previous corresponding quarter.

For the first three quarters, SBS Transit saw a 43.0 per cent rise in net profit to $42.9 million, but year-to-date revenue slipped 4.3 per cent to $522.85 million. For the first nine months, earnings per share were 13.94 cents, up from 9.76 cents.

No dividend has been proposed.

Another unit of land transport giant ComfortDelGro also announced its Q3 results yesterday. Vicom said that growth in vehicle inspection, and test and inspection services boosted its net profit by 23.6 per cent to $5.07 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009.

But Q3 revenue was slowed down by the lower revenue from vehicle inspection and type approval services, as well as vehicle assessment services; it slipped 0.7 per cent to $19.52 million.

Group operating expenses dropped 7.7 per cent to $13.3 million in the third quarter due mainly to lower material and subcontractor costs, as well as the Jobs Credit grant, property tax and rental rebates.

Vicom’s Q3 earnings per share was 5.93 cents, up from 4.81 cents in the same quarter last year.

For the first three quarters, the vehicle inspection unit posted an 18.8 per cent rise in net profit to $15.06 million. Year-to-date revenue was also higher, up 5.4 per cent to $58.09 million.

Earnings per share for the first nine months rose to 17.59 cents from 14.94 cents in the same period a year ago. No dividend has been proposed.

SBS Transit shares fell two cents to $1.73 and Vicom shares fell one cent to $2.10 yesterday.

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