ComfortDelGro posts 6.8% rise in Q1 net profit to $67.6 million

More spending by commuters on taxis, buses and trains helped transport firm ComfortDelGro Corp see net profit rise 6.8 per cent to $67.6 million for the three months to March 31, while revenue inched up 1.3 per cent to $963.5 million. -- ST FILE PHOT
More spending by commuters on taxis, buses and trains helped transport firm ComfortDelGro Corp see net profit rise 6.8 per cent to $67.6 million for the three months to March 31, while revenue inched up 1.3 per cent to $963.5 million. -- ST FILE PHOTO 

SINGAPORE - MORE spending by commuters on taxis, buses and trains helped transport firm ComfortDelGro Corp lift earnings for the first quarter.

Net profit rose 6.8 per cent to $67.6 million for the three months to March 31 while revenue inched up 1.3 per cent to $963.5 million.

The higher revenue was attributed to growth in its bus, taxi, rail, inspection and testing services and car rental and leasing businesses.

ComfortDelGro said its bus division contributed $478 million to total revenue in the quarter, 2.2 per cent more than in the same period last year.

This was mainly due to an 11.3 per cent rise in sales at its Singapore bus business, stemming from higher average fares and daily ridership as well as increased rents from shop renewals and other operating income.

But the revenue of its bus business in Britain and Ireland fell by 4.2 per cent because of strikes and the weaker pound.

Revenue from taxis rose 5.2 per cent to $321.8 million.

Its taxi unit here posted an increase in revenue of 5.5 per cent to $240.9 million thanks to higher rentals from the replacement of vehicles, a larger operating fleet and more cashless transactions.

The group also cited the stronger yuan as a factor in the unit's higher revenue, noting that its taxi business in China posted 7.2 per cent more revenue than in the same quarter last year. It said more double-shift taxis in Beijing and lower losses on the disposal of vehicles also contributed.

Its rail business posted revenue of $51 million, 8.1 per cent more than in the same period last year. The group cited higher daily ridership on the North-East and Downtown lines and the Light Rail Transit system.

The inspection and testing services unit posted turnover of $29 million, 3.9 per cent higher than the same quarter last year, while its car rental and leasing division lifted sales 6.8 per cent to $9.4 million.

But the automotive engineering services unit posted a revenue decline of 13.2 per cent to $93.2 million due to lower prices for the sale of diesel to taxi hirers.

Its bus station business in Guangzhou saw revenue fall 4.8 per cent to $7.9 million, while turnover at its driving centre unit fell 1 per cent to $9.6 million.

Earnings per share stood at 3.16 cents, up from 2.98 cents in the same quarter last year. Net asset value per share increased from 102.36 cents last year to 105.82 cents.