It was steady as it goes for conglomerate Jardine Cycle & Carriage in the third quarter, which posted marginal growth in earnings.
However, the numbers for the nine months still showed signs of stress in areas including financial services and heavy equipment and mining businesses.
The company's net profit for the three months to Sept 30 was US$186.2 million (S$258.7 million), up 3 per cent on the same period a year earlier while revenue rose 6 per cent to US$3.93 billion.
Jardine Cycle & Carriage operates vehicle and financial service businesses through Indonesia's Astra International, which is South-east Asia's largest independent automotive company and also a 45 per cent owner of Permata Bank.
Astra's profit contribution was up 10 per cent year on year to US$150.1 million in the third quarter.
Company chairman Ben Keswick said in a statement yesterday: "Astra's automotive businesses are expected to continue to produce improved performances, with some progress in its agribusiness and a modest recovery in its heavy equipment and mining operations."
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: US$3.93 billion (+6%)
NET PROFIT: US$186.2 million (+3%)
EARNINGS PER SHARE: 47 US cents (-4%)
He also said contributions from Direct Motor Interests - another automotive company under the group operating in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar - should remain steady.
Earnings per share was 47 US cents for the third quarter, down 4 per cent from a year ago. Net asset value was US$5.66 a share, unchanged from Dec 31, 2015.
But results for nine months to Sept 30 were less robust, with revenue down 3 per cent year on year to US$11.63 billion, and net profit slipping 5 per cent to US$513.8 million.
Jardine Cycle & Carriage recorded improved auto sales in the first nine months this year due partly to new model introductions.
"Astra's car sales were 10 per cent higher at 422,000 units, resulting in an increase in market share from 50 per cent to 54 per cent," the company said. Direct Motor Interests added another US$113 million in profit for the group so far this year.
Still, Astra's nine-month profit contribution to the group was down 7 per cent to US$399 million, as Permata Bank was hit by a US$93 million net loss over the nine months due to a surge in its loan-loss provisions.
As a result, net income from financial services slid 31 per cent to US$156 million in the period.
This was further compounded by a 43 per cent drop in heavy equipment and mining net income to US$142 million.
Jardine Cycle & Carriage shares closed up 90 cents or 2.15 per cent at $42.78 yesterday, ahead of the results announcement.