Head of SMRT roads unit quits, deputies promoted

SMRT's bus business reaped a profit of close to $6 million in its latest financial year.
SMRT's bus business reaped a profit of close to $6 million in its latest financial year. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Managing director will step down in August to 'pursue professional, personal interests'

Transport operator SMRT will be restructuring its Road Holdings division for better growth opportunities here and abroad, the Temasek-owned company said in an announcement to the stock exchange on Thursday.

It said Road Holdings managing director Benny Lim has resigned "to pursue professional and personal interests".

Mr Lim, 52, will step down on Aug 2. He joined SMRT about three years ago, soon after Mr Desmond Kuek assumed the post of chief executive.

Meanwhile, managers in Buses and Taxis - two sections under Road Holdings - have been promoted.

Mr Tony Heng, general manager of SMRT Taxis, will assume the role of managing director overseeing the group's taxi operation.

He will also oversee its newly launched Strides private-hire business.

Mr Heng, 43, will also manage Bus-Plus Services, a premium minibus service shuttling to and from the Central Business District.

Mr Heng has 15 years of experience in the transportation field. SMRT said he will help position the group as a one-stop private-hire service provider.

He was with ComfortDelGro before joining SMRT in 2011.

Likewise, SMRT Buses vice-president Tan Kian Heong, 49, will assume the post of managing director.

SMRT said Mr Tan helped transform the bus business from a loss-making entity to one that reaped a profit of close to $6 million in its latest financial year.

Before joining SMRT in 2013, Mr Tan worked at the National Institute of Education and in the Singapore Armed Forces, where he attained the rank of colonel.

SMRT's group profits have been rising in the last three years.

For financial year 2014, it posted earnings of $61.9 million, with a net margin of 5.3 per cent.

For FY2015, this improved to $91 million and 7.4 per cent.

And in the latest set of results, SMRT posted net earnings of $109.3 million, with a margin of 8 per cent.

The growth has largely been on the back of its non-transit businesses, such as rental of retail space at stations.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Head of SMRT roads unit quits, deputies promoted'. Print Edition | Subscribe