Recognition of fair-value losses sent profits plunging at Jardine Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) in the first quarter, it reported yesterday.
Earnings fell to US$135.4 million (S$180 million) for the three months to March 31, down 36 per cent year on year, amid fair-value changes in its equity instrument investments.
Such changes had been recorded as other comprehensive income until new accounting standards kicked in.
Underlying net profit rose 8 per cent to US$219 million while revenue advanced 12 per cent to US$4.64 billion as improvements at Jardine C&C's direct motor interests and other strategic interests made up for a slip in contributions at Indonesian affiliate Astra.
Astra, a significant contributor in the firm's portfolio, brought in US$177 million - down by 4 per cent on the previous year.
Net income declined in the automotive, financial services and agribusiness divisions, owing in part to a crowded car market and lower crude palm oil prices.
But net income from the heavy equipment, mining, construction and energy business swelled, as higher coal production and sales were lifted by higher coal prices.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: US$4.64 billion (+12%)
NET PROFIT: US$135.4 million (-36%)
The group's consolidated net debt, excluding Astra's financial services subsidiaries, was US$1.4 billion at March 31, up from US$819 million at prior year end.
The increase was primarily due to Astra's toll road and Go-Jek investments and capital expenditure in its mining contracting business, together with the investments by the group in Toyota Motor Corporation and other associates and joint ventures.
Meanwhile, direct motor interests contributed US$28 million to Jardine C&C's profits, and other strategic interests netted US$10 million as the group reaped dividend income from Vietnamese dairy producer Vinamilk.
Cycle & Carriage Singapore's profit rose as margins improved on passenger cars as well as increased contributions from used cars and parts trading.
In Malaysia, Cycle & Carriage Bintang recorded a loss despite higher unit sales, mainly due to higher operating expenses and financing costs.
Jardine C&C shares closed up by 31 cents to $34.31 before the announcement.