SBSTransit – BT

SBS Transit Q3 profit up 20.4% to $12.7m

HIGHER bus and train ridership helped lift SBS Transit (SBST)’s net profit 20.4 per cent to $12.7 million for the third quarter ended Sept 30.

Revenue climbed 6 per cent year on year to $184.9 million, mainly on stronger bus and rail takings and higher advertisement earnings.

Operating expenses were 4.1 per cent higher at $169.1 million, mainly due to higher premises costs, higher fuel and electricity costs, higher depreciation expenses and higher other operating expenses. These were partly offset by lower repairs and maintenance costs.

Premises costs jumped 32.6 per cent to $9.3 million because of higher maintenance, including security fencing costs and the absence of Budget rebates from the government, while fuel and electricity cost 7 per cent more at $33.1 million.

Tax spiked 97.8 per cent to $3.1 million, due to certain receipts in the previous corresponding quarter being tax-exempt, as well as higher profits in the latest Q3.

Earnings per share increased to 4.14 cents, from 3.44 cents in Q3 last year.

SBST operates Singapore’s biggest public bus network, as well as a smaller rail network.

It said that Q3 revenue from bus operations rose 2.9 per cent to $140.2 million, mainly on a 5.7 per cent rise in average daily ridership compared with the same period last year.

Operating profit jumped 91.4 per cent to $3 million, mainly on higher bus fare revenue and lower repair and maintenance costs, although these were partly offset by hikes in premises costs, depreciations expense and other operating expenses.

Q3 rail revenue increased 13 per cent to $30.9 million as average daily ridership for the North-East Line rose 20 per cent, and that for the two light-rail transit systems went up 15.5 per cent. Operating profit improved 14.1 per cent to $4.1 million due to higher rail fare revenue.

But this was weighed down by higher electricity and staff costs, along with higher repair and maintenance costs.

Revenue from the advertisement business rose 42.2 per cent to $10.2 million, with operating profit 42.6 per cent higher at $6.1 million, mainly on higher bus advertisement revenue.

For the first nine months of the year, SBST’s net profit rose 2.6 per cent to $44 million, while revenue was 3.2 per cent higher at $539.3 million. Earnings per share for the nine months stood at 14.3 cents, up from 13.9 cents previously.

No dividend has been proposed. SBST’s stock closed one cent higher at $1.93 yesterday.

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