ComfortDelGro's full-year profit driven down 77% as pandemic bites

Transport operator ComfortDelGro's revenue slumped around 17 per cent to $3.22 billion as its operations across seven countries were hampered by lockdowns.
Transport operator ComfortDelGro's revenue slumped around 17 per cent to $3.22 billion as its operations across seven countries were hampered by lockdowns. ST FILE PHOTO

Transport operator ComfortDelGro's net profit for the year ended Dec 31 plunged nearly 77 per cent year on year to $61.8 million as the pandemic brought activity to a halt.

Revenue slumped around 17 per cent to $3.22 billion as its operations across seven countries were hampered by lockdowns.

Group operating costs eased 10.9 per cent to about $3.1 billion in line with slower business, cost-saving measures and government relief.

Its operating performance was boosted by government relief packages, without which ComfortDelGro would have chalked up an operating loss of $46.2 million instead of an operating profit of $123.1 million.

In comparison, its operating profit a year ago was $415.8 million.

Meanwhile, earnings per share worked out to 2.85 cents, down from 12.24 cents a year ago.

Earlier in the year, the group recognised provisions for impairment on vehicles and goodwill of $48.3 million, although none was taken in the fourth quarter.

ComfortDelGro managing director Yang Ban Seng said: "We have seen a steady uptick in business activity, especially in the last quarter, and we remain hopeful that gradual global recovery will continue.

"We will double down on our digitalisation efforts and transformation to gear up our businesses to better prepare for and take advantage of recovery opportunities."

A final dividend of 1.43 cents has been proposed; there was no interim dividend. In 2019, Comfort paid out a final dividend of 5.29 cents, and total dividends of 9.79 cents.

ComfortDelGro shares closed at $1.58 yesterday, up one cent, or 0.64 per cent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2021, with the headline ComfortDelGro's full-year profit driven down 77% as pandemic bites. Subscribe