Jardine C&C Q3 net profit weighed down by slowing Indonesia economy

SINGAPORE - Indonesia's slowing economy continued to weigh on earnings at conglomerate Jardine Cycle & Carriage (C&C), which recorded a slide in third-quarter net profit.

The group's main profit contributor, Astra International, has been hit by reduced domestic consumption, competition in the car sector, lower commodity prices and a deterioration in the credit quality of its corporate clients.

Net profit for the quarter ended Sept 30 fell 15 per cent over the same period a year earlier to US$182.2 million, while revenue fell 20 per cent to US$3.7 billion (S$5.1 billion).

Earnings per share for the July to September quarter was 49.14 US cents, down from 58.27 US cents in the same period a year ago.

Net asset value per share was US$5.17 as at Sept 30, from US$4.07 as at Dec 31 last year.

Astra's contribution to the group's underlying profit was lower at US$432 million over the nine months, as a 14 per cent decline in its rupiah results was translated into a 25 per cent fall in US dollars. It saw reduced contributions from all its businesses other than heavy equipment and mining.

The rupiah was on average 12 per cent weaker than in the first nine months of 2014.

However, this was somewhat offset by a stronger showing in the company's direct motor interests, which produced a 72 per cent increase in underlying profit at US$102 million following a strong performance by Truong Hai Auto in Vietnam, which benefitted from significantly higher unit sales and good margins.

The contribution from the Singapore motor operations was also higher as unit sales grew following an increase in the Government vehicle quota.

In its filing to the Singapore Exchange yesterday, the company said challenging trading conditions facing Astra are set to continue, and the group's trading performance is expected to remain little changed for the remainder of the year.

chiaym@sph.com.sg