SingPost Q2 net profit down 41%; cuts dividend

The newly opened SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore Post has posted a second quarter net profit of $31.4 million, down 41.2 per cent from the same period a year ago, due mainly to higher costs in the e-commerce business, costs related to its new Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub, loss of rental income from SPC mall redevelopment, as well as lower domestic letter mail volumes.

Excluding one-off items, underlying net profit fell 27.9 per cent to $27.1 million in the quarter.

Revenue in the three months ended Sept 30 was $321.7 million, up 22.3 per cent from a year ago, driven by the inclusion of United States e-commerce acquisitions, TradeGlobal and Jagged Peak.

SingPost has declared an interim dividend of 1 cent per share, down from 1.5 cents per share in the same period last year.

Chairman Simon Israel said: "We said at our 2016 AGM in July that we would be reviewing our dividend policy.

"We have revised SingPost's dividend policy from an absolute amount to one based on a pay-out ratio ranging between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of underlying net profit for each financial year.

"SingPost's dividends in the past had been largely supported by the domestic mail business, which continues to see declining volumes."

Second-quarter earnings per share was 1.28 cents, down from 2.31 cents in the second quarter last year.

Net asset value per share was 71.19 cents as at Sept 30, from 72.26 cents as at March 31.

Earnings were announced after market close. The counter gained 3.5 cents or 2.17 per cent to close at $1.65 on Friday.

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