Jardine Cycle & Carriage Q3 underlying profit slides 18%, partly due to weaker rupiah

Automotive group Jardine Cycle & Carriage has posted underlying profit of US$218 million (S$271 million) for the third quarter, an 18 per cent drop over a year ago.

This is on the back of a 13 per cent fall in revenue over the same period to US$4.64 billion, the group said on Wednesday.

Its measure of underlying profit excludes one-off gains of US$4 million from the sale of a subsidiary in the third quarter this year, and US$57.2 million from the disposal of an investment in the third quarter last year.

Including these items, the group recorded overall net profit for the quarter of US$222 million, a steeper drop of 30.3 per cent from a year ago.

Jardine's earnings fell due to mixed results from its units and a weaker rupiah, which affected contributions from its Indonesian subsidiary Astra International.

Astra accounts for close to 95 per cent of the group's profits and has business operations spanning the automotive, agribusiness and financial services sectors, among others.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage chairman Ben Keswick said: "Despite strong automotive volumes, Astra's earnings continued to be affected by increased competition in the car market, higher labour costs and lower commodity prices."

The group also has motor interests in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. In Singapore, its operations were "adversely affected by various government measures to curb demand, including the reduction in the quota for new vehicles and restrictions in vehicle financing", Jardine Cycle & Carriage said.

Mr Keswick expects trading conditions for the group's businesses to be unchanged for the rest of the year.

Underlying earnings per share for the quarter slid to 61.29 US cents from 74.73 US cents.

Net asset value per share was US$11.76 as at Sept 30, down from US$13.03 a year ago.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage shares closed nine cents higher at $36.77.