ComfortDelgro – BT

ComfortDelGro Q2 profit edges up

TRANSPORT group ComfortDelGro Corporation registered a marginal 1.6 per cent increase in year-on-year net profit to $58.2 million for the second quarter ended June 30.

Revenue rose to $789.3 million, from $758.3 million a year earlier, amid growth across various business segments.

While actual revenue grew by $46.2 million, negative foreign currency translation as a result of the weaker British pound and Chinese yuan reduced this to $31 million. Group operating expenses came in at $690 million, up 3.9 per cent year on year.

Earnings per share climbed to 2.79 cents, from 2.74 cents per share in Q2 2009. For the first half, net profit was 2.5 per cent higher year-on-year at $112.5 million, while revenue was 5.5 per cent higher at $1.55 billion.

Revenue from the bus business rose 5 per cent to $399.8 million in the latest Q2, while revenue from the taxi business was 3.5 per cent higher at $238.7 million.

Revenue from the rail business at SBS Transit jumped 14.3 per cent to $30 million, as average daily ridership for the North East Line and the two LRT systems rose 14.4 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively.

For Q2, revenue from overseas made up 43.1 per cent of total, versus 44.3 per cent a year back, as a result of the weaker British pound, though this was offset by a stronger Australian dollar. Outside Singapore, Comfort operates in six countries including China, the UK, Ireland and Australia.

On future outlook, Comfort said revenue from its Singapore bus business will be boosted by expected ridership growth, while revenue from its Australia bus operations will improve with increased services, but revenue from its UK bus business is expected to be affected by exchange rates.

Revenue from the rail business is also expected to benefit from ridership growth, while the taxi business in Singapore should register higher revenue with more cashless transactions and new taxis.

‘As global economic conditions remain uncertain, the group will continue to focus on the demand patterns of its customers, control expenses even though fuel and electricity costs will continue to pose challenges, and remain vigilant while seeking opportunities for growth,’ Comfort said.

At June 30, the group had cash and short-term deposits of $508.6 million and liquid investments of $35.1 million, for a total of $543.7 million. After offsetting borrowings of $580.8 million, it had a net debt position of $37.1 million and a net gearing ratio of 1.6 per cent.

Comfort has declared an interim dividend of 2.7 cents, to be paid on Sept 7.

Comfort’s shares closed one cent higher yesterday at $1.55.

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