ComfortDelGro earnings hit $302m

Better numbers from its bus, taxi and rail businesses lifted the numbers at transport giant ComfortDelGro for the full year.

Earnings came in at $301.9 million, up 6.5 per cent on the previous year, while revenue rose 1.5 per cent to $4.11 billion. Earnings per share was 14.07 cents, up from 13.29 a year earlier, while net asset value per share stood at 108.60 cents as at Dec 31, from 102.36 previously.

A final dividend of five cents per share was proposed for the 12 months to Dec 31, up from 4.5 cents.

Managing director and group chief executive Kua Hong Pak said yesterday: "2015 was a challenging year with strong competition faced by all our businesses." Operating costs came to $3.66 billion - about $51.6 million or 1.4 per cent higher.

Among several reasons, the company cited an increase of headcount to support the Downtown Line 2, (DTL 2) which opened on Dec 27, and higher certificate of entitlement premiums to replace ageing taxis.

  • AT A GLANCE

  • REVENUE: $4.11 billion (+1.5%)

    NET PROFIT: $301.9 million (+6.5%)

    FINAL DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 5 cents (+11.1%)

There were healthy gains in operating profits at two key units, with taxis increasing $13 million and buses adding $9.9 million.

ComfortDelGro has said that its buses are not making money as a core business, with the gains posted coming from advertising and rental income. Overseas businesses also accounted for 45.6 per cent of the group's total operating profit.

ComfortDelGro also operates in Australia, China, Britain, Ireland, Vietnam and Malaysia.

While revenue from the bus business in Britain is expected to grow, Singapore turnover will be lower due to the recent fare reduction of 1.9 per cent. The fare cut will not hit the rail business as hard, as the new 12-station DTL2 is expected to boost ridership numbers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'ComfortDelGro earnings hit $302m'. Print Edition | Subscribe