Non-trading gains helped bolster earnings at Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) by 22 per cent in the first half of this year.
The automotive group yesterday posted a net profit of US$399 million (S$542 million) for the six months ended June 30, up from the US$328 million in the same period a year earlier.
This was after taking into account non-trading gains of US$24 million, mainly comprised of fair value gains on an investment held by an associate and on an investment property.
Revenue grew 11 per cent to US$8.52 billion, with increases in most of Astra's businesses, while underlying profit grew 13 per cent to US$375 million. Astra is the largest independent automotive group in South-east Asia.
Astra contributed US$315 million to the group's underlying profit, a 27 per cent improvement from before. But contribution from the group's direct motor interests slid 20 per cent to US$63 million, while that from other interests dropped 46 per cent to US$8 million.
Earnings per share came in at 101 US cents, up on the 83 US cents previously. Net asset value per share climbed to US$15.19, compared with US$14.56 as at Dec 31 last year.
Net cash, excluding net borrowings within Astra's financial services subsidiaries, stood at US$291 million as at the end of June, lower than the US$709 million at the end of last year. The reduction was mainly due to investments made by Astra in toll roads, a power plant and property, together with the company's participation in the rights issue of Siam City Cement.
AT A GLANCE
NET PROFIT: US$399 million (+22%)
REVENUE: US$8.52 billion (+11%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 18 US cents (no change)
Net debt within Astra's financial services subsidiaries was US$3.7 billion, little changed from the end of last year.
Jardine C&C has declared an interim dividend of 18 US cents per share, the same as before.
Chairman Ben Keswick noted that strong performances from Astra's businesses more than compensated for weaker results from the group's direct motor interests and other interests.
"The outlook for the rest of the year is positive for Astra, although its results may be tempered by increasing competition in the car market and soft demand in the motorcycle market," he said.
"The group's direct motor interests and other interests will continue to face challenges."
Shares of Jardine C&C finished 1.2 per cent, or 50 cents, lower at $40.08 yesterday, before the results were announced.