Tan Chong full-year net profit dips 11.7 per cent

Tan Chong's revenue for the full year rose 39 per cent over the previous year to HK$14.8 billion (S$2.57 billion), driven by the expansion of the company's core automotive vehicle distribution business in Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Tan Chong's revenue for the full year rose 39 per cent over the previous year to HK$14.8 billion (S$2.57 billion), driven by the expansion of the company's core automotive vehicle distribution business in Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.ST FILE PHOTO

Investment property losses and currency volatility to blame

Motor vehicle company Tan Chong International recorded an 11.7 per cent drop in full-year net profit, thanks to valuation losses on investment properties, as well as currency volatility.

Net profit for the year ended Dec 31 was HK$308.2 million (S$53.6 million).

This came as the Hong Kong dollar, in which the company reports its results, on average appreciated more than 7 per cent relative to the currencies of regional countries where the group operates.

The currency volatility hurt the company's financial results, it said in its exchange filing yesterday.

Revenue for the full year was HK$14.8 billion, a 39 per cent increase over the previous year.

This was driven by the expansion of the company's core automotive vehicle distribution business in Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, and the full-year consolidation of the financial results of Zero Co, in which Tan Chong acquired a stake to strengthen its transportation and logistics capabilities.

The Singapore passenger vehicle market enjoyed significant growth last year, in line with the new car vehicle registration cycle, said the firm. Both the Nissan and Subaru brands outperformed by expanding their respective market share and achieving sharp increases in unit sales and revenue.

The commercial vehicle market also expanded. However, property continued to face headwinds over the financial year amid weak market sentiment, which resulted in decreased profitability.

Performance was patchy elsewhere in the region. Subaru unit sales in China fell 10 per cent, compounded by the impact of stricter vehicle emissions standards and the expansion in market share of domestic Chinese brands.

The Thai passenger vehicle market experienced a contraction in 2015, but Subaru recorded a significant increase in unit sales in the country due to the firm's efforts to increase market penetration and strengthen brand awareness.

The company said it expects to perform "satisfactorily" this year, with growth in its Singapore, Philippines and Taiwan operations.

It also expects improving vehicle sales in some markets with the launch of the Subaru Forester.

However, the firm said it remains cautious of the weak consumer sentiment and also expects to incur high costs in building up network infrastructure as well as developing brand awareness as it stabilises operations.

Earnings per share for the full year came in at 15 HK cents, down from 17 HK cents last year. The company is recommending a final dividend of eight HK cents per share.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Tan Chong full-year net profit dips 11.7 per cent'. Print Edition | Subscribe