SingPost second-half profit falls 55.7% to $16.7m on higher costs from Covid-19

The latest H2 figures brings the group's earnings for the full year to $47.6 million. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore Post (SingPost) on Thursday (May 6) posted net profit of $16.7 million for the second half of the fiscal year ended March, down 55.7 per cent from $37.7 million for H2 FY2020.

In its results filing before the market opened, the group attributed the bottom-line decline mainly to higher costs incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest H2 figures brings the group's earnings for the full year to $47.6 million, down 47.7 per cent from FY2020 net profit of $91.1 million.

Revenue for H2 grew 4.3 per cent to $696.9 million from $668.1 million a year ago, led by strong e-commerce volume growth in both the logistics as well as domestic post and parcel segments.

In the post and parcel segment, revenue declined 10.1 per cent to $350.2 million as international post and parcel volumes continued to be impacted by the constraints on air capacity in and out of Changi Airport. This resulted in significantly higher conveyance costs with substantial reductions in margins for the segment.

While the domestic post and parcel business recorded significant volume and revenue growth on higher e-commerce adoption, SingPost noted that higher costs were also incurred due to health and safety arrangements for Covid-19.

Revenue in the logistics segment rose 26.6 per cent for the half year, bringing its profit on operating activities to $5.6 million as all entities benefited from the accelerated adoption of e-commerce activities.

The property segment saw a slight 1.6 per cent dip in H2 revenue to $59.9 million largely due to lower receipts from car park and atrium sales for the group's SingPost Centre mall.

The group's total exceptional losses in H2 amounted to $12 million. This was largely attributed to fair value losses on investment properties and on a put option of an indirect subsidiary; professional fees relating to the strategic activities of the group; and an impairment recorded on some of CourierPlease's assets due to obsolescence.

Excluding exceptional items, the group's underlying net profit for the half year declined 40.1 per cent to $28.6 million from $47.8 million previously.

Its board of directors is proposing a final dividend of 0.6 Singapore cent per ordinary share, from a 1.7 cent final dividend issued for the same period last year. This would bring the annual dividend for the financial year to 1.1 cent per share, compared to FY2020's dividend of 2.7 cents.

SingPost said it will continue to carefully manage expenses, cash flow and liquidity to help fund its transformation initiatives for the longer term, although it expects the performance in certain business segments to remain "affected by factors beyond its control".

"As the pandemic continues to create disruptions across the global economy, SingPost is actively adapting measures to navigate the current environment, including seeking new e-commerce growth opportunities in Singapore, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region," it said.

Shares of SingPost were trading half a cent or 0.7 per cent higher at 76 cents at 9.40am, after the results were announced.

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