ComfortDelGro Corp lifts Q3 net profit by 5.4% to $76.7 million

Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp lifted its bottom line in the third quarter despite sharply lower contributions from its Singapore operations. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp lifted its bottom line in the third quarter despite sharply lower contributions from its Singapore operations. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp lifted its bottom line in the third quarter despite sharply lower contributions from its Singapore operations.

Earnings were 5.4 per cent up over the same period a year earlier to $76.7 million, while revenue was 8.6 per cent ahead at $978.4 million for the three months to Sept 30.

The group, with businesses in China, Australia, Vietnam and Britain, recorded 9.2 per cent increase in operating expenses to $856 million, led by a 16.1 per cent hike in staff cost to $321.8 million.

Operating profit rose by 4.8 per cent to $122.4 million, with slightly more than half accounted for by overseas units.

In Singapore, taxis continued on the growth path, with revenue rising by 8.1 per cent to $227.4 million.

This was driven by higher rentals, a larger fleet and more cashless transactions.

But its Singapore bus and rail businesses faced intense cost pressures.

Higher headcount in preparation for the MRT Downtown Line, increased repairs and maintenance as well as steeper depreciation charges from an expanded bus fleet all weighed on its bottom line.

The absence of fare revisions last year and this year made things worse.

Earnings per share rose from 3.48 cents to 3.61 cents, while net asset per share stood at 98.05 cents, from 95.54 as at Dec 31.