Sembcorp sinks into the red with $866m second-half loss

Sembcorp Industries sank into the red with an $866 million net loss for the second half ended Dec 31 last year, from a net profit of $56 million a year ago.

This came as the group's turnover dropped 17 per cent to $2.83 billion for the six months ended last December, from $3.43 billion a year ago, on a continuing operations basis.

The results translate to earnings per share (EPS) of 11.09 cents from continuing operations, from an EPS of 5.04 cents a year ago.

Sembcorp distributed its ordinary shares in Sembcorp Marine (SembMarine) to its shareholders on Sept 11 last year. Consequent to this, the performance of the marine segment from Jan 1 to Sept 11 last year is reported as a discontinued operation with comparative information represented accordingly.

On a non-continuing operations basis, Sembcorp recorded a loss per share (LPS) of 48.52 cents, against an EPS of 2.13 cents in FY2019.

For the full year ended Dec 31, it recorded a net loss of $997 million, from a net profit of $247 million.

On a continuing operations basis, the group recorded an EPS of 7.84 cents, from an EPS of 15.06 cents a year ago. Otherwise, it recorded an LPS of 56.81 cents, from an EPS of 11.81 cents in FY2019.

Turnover was 19 per cent lower at $5.45 billion on continuing operations, from $6.74 billion the year before.

This was mainly due to a non-cash, non-recurring fair value loss of $970 million recorded after the completion of the distribution of Sembcorp Marine shares last year, as well as a net loss of $184 million from the marine business prior to the distribution.

Sembcorp also recorded exceptional items of negative $144 million.

A final cash dividend of four cents per share has been declared for the full year, compared with a total dividend of five cents declared for FY2019.

The final dividend will be paid on May 6 after the record date on April 29, if approved by shareholders at the annual general meeting to be held on April 22.

Looking ahead, Sembcorp said uncertainties continue to persist over the strength of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Underlying performance of the group will also be impacted by changes in customer profile in the United Kingdom and Singapore, as well as the loss of income from divested assets in Panama and Chile," it said.

The group will continue to transform its portfolio to focus on sustainable solutions that support the global energy transition and sustainable development, Sembcorp added.

Shares of the mainboard-listed company closed at $1.66 yesterday, up four cents or 2.5 per cent.

Separately, SembMarine saw its net loss for the second half widen to $390.4 million, from $130.3 million a year ago.

Excluding impairments and provisions, net loss for the six months ended Dec 31 last year would have been $246 million, it said yesterday.

With additional information from The Straits Times

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2021, with the headline 'Sembcorp sinks into the red with $866m second-half loss'. Subscribe