SMRT posts 47% rise in full-year earnings, suffers first quarterly loss in MRT division

SINGAPORE - Transport operator SMRT Corp posted a 47 per cent rise in net earnings to $91 million for the full year ended March 31, 2015.

On the back of a 6.2 per cent revenue growth to $1.24 billion, earnings per share climbed to six cents, up from 4.1 cents last year.

Group operating margin improved to 25.4 per cent, up from 22 per cent previously.

Net tangible asset per share stood at 55.6 cents, up from 51.8. Net gearing stood at 0.77, up from 0.6.

As has been the case in recent years, SMRT's profitability was fuelled largely by its non-fare businesses - chiefly rental of retail space in train stations and its taxi rental business.

Its core MRT business incurred its maiden quarterly operating loss of $2.4 million as the group ramps up its staff strength in response to an expanding train fleet and extension of the rail network. Increased repair and maintenance expenses also weighed on this once lucrative business.

Directors said SMRT will continue to grow its non-fare businesses.

Chief executive Desmond Kuek said: "Our core focus remains with the intensified efforts to renew and upgrade our ageing rail systems, and further improve on our public transport service and reliability."