ComfortDelgro – BT

ComfortDelGro’s Q3 profit up 15%

LOWER energy costs helped ComfortDelGro to post a 15.1 per cent rise in net profit to $55.6 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2009.

But Q3 revenue for the world’s second largest land transport group slipped 3.7 per cent to $782.6 million, mostly because of the negative translation effect of the weaker British pound and Australian dollar.

Third-quarter operating profit had climbed 16.7 per cent to $90.9 million, due mainly to lower operating expenses as a result of a drop in fuel and electricity costs. The transport giant said that without the negative foreign currency translation effect, operating profit would have been 20 per cent higher at $93.4 million.

Q3 overseas operating profit accounted for 44 per cent of total group operating profit, from 49 per cent in the same quarter a year ago. Particularly outstanding was the overseas bus business, which continued to outpace the local operations, accounting for 78.2 per cent of group bus operating profit of $31.7 million.

Overseas operations accounted for 44.5 per cent of group revenue for Q3, up from 42.5 per cent previously.

The group said that its key businesses grew. Revenue growth was broad- based in both geographical and segmental terms.

But overall revenue was slowed down by lower diesel sales to taxi drivers, which totalled $49.1 million or $24.4 million less than the $73.5 million in the previous corresponding quarter as selling prices and volumes sold fell. The lower cost of diesel, however, resulted in a Q3 operating profit of $6.2 million compared with a loss of $0.2 million previously.

The group’s taxi business posted Q3 operating profit of $27.7 million, or $0.9 million lower than last year’s Q3, due to lower profit from the UK and Vietnam taxi businesses, although this was compensated by higher profit from the Singapore taxi business.

The local taxi business had recorded a Q3 operating profit of $16.3 million, or $1.1 million better than previously. This was on the back of a $3.1 million increase in revenue to $159.4 million, thanks to a higher volume of cashless transactions and a higher operating fleet.

Q3 earnings per share came to 2.66 cents, up from 2.32 cents previously. Net asset value per share totalled 78.9 cents, up from 74.65 cents nine months ago. No dividend has been recommended.

For the first three quarters, net profit was 6.5 per cent higher at $165.4 million compared with the same period a year ago. But year-to-date revenue was 4 per cent lower at $2.26 billion, although earnings per share came to 7.92 cents, up from 7.45 cents previously.

ComfortDelGro managing director and group CEO Kua Hong Pak said that the first nine months of 2009 were not easy but the company stayed focused and built on its strengths.

However, Mr Kua added: ‘The economic outlook remains uncertain despite signs of recovery, so we will have to continue to be vigilant.’

Leave a Reply