ComfortDelGro's Q2 profit slides on higher costs, lower taxi earnings

ComfortDelGro Corp's core taxi business continued to suffer from competition from private-hire operators.
ComfortDelGro Corp's core taxi business continued to suffer from competition from private-hire operators.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp has posted a 5.5 per cent dip in net earnings to $75 million for the second quarter ended June 30.

The Singapore-listed group said revenue for the three months rose by 5.4 per cent to $941.1 million, with higher operating expenses eroding its profitability.

Its core taxi business continued to suffer from competition from private-hire operators. For the quarter, the taxi operating business - together with the closely related automotive engineering division - posted an operating profit of $39.7 million, down 20.4 per cent from the same period a year ago.

For the first half, ComfortDelGro's net profit dipped 12.7 per cent to $141.3 million, on the back of a 3.2 per cent growth in revenue to $1.82 billion.

Despite the poorer year-on-year showing, ComfortDelGro chief executive Yang Ban Seng noted that the second quarter was actually better than the first quarter.

He said this was largely because of the continued growth of its bus and rail business, as well as the stabilisation of the taxi business in Singapore.

Earnings per share for the second quarter stood at 3.47 cents, down from 3.67 cents. Its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation margin shrank from 24 per cent to 22 per cent in the three months.

 
 

ComfortDelGro's net asset value per share dipped to 120.83 cents as at June 30, from 121.01 cents at Dec 31 last year.

Directors are recommending an interim dividend of 4.35 cents, unchanged from the same period last year.