SINGAPORE - Bus and train operator SBS Transit posted a dip in net earnings for the first half ended June 2022 on the back of higher costs and the absence of the Jobs Support Scheme accorded by the Government during the pandemic.
The majority-owned subsidiary of transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp reported a 14.3 per cent rise in six-month revenue to $732.4 million, but its profit attributable to shareholders shrank by 5 per cent to $34.6 million.
Operating expenses rose by 14.4 per cent to $689.4 million, led mainly by staff cost and energy and fuel costs.
Earnings per share fell to 11.11 cents, from 11.7 cents the same time last year. Net asset value per share stood at $2.02, versus $1.93 previously.
Cash and equivalents stood at $247 million, up from $147.8 million previously.
SBS Transit said average daily ridership on its the North East Line grew by 14.6 per cent to 445,000 trips; the Downtown Line by 17.4 per cent to 327,000 trips; and the Sengkang-Punggol LRT by 16.1 per cent to 128,000 trips.
These, however, are still below pre-pandemic levels.
SBS Transit chief executive Cheng Siak Kian said: "We are seeing a steady increase in rail ridership as more workers return to the workplace with the gradual easing of Covid-19 measures.
"However, it's still early days to say if ridership will recover to pre-Covid-19 levels due to hybrid work arrangements, and we are closely monitoring the situation.
"Meanwhile, the tight labour market and the spike in energy prices remain as key challenges for our business."
Directors are recommending an interim dividend of 5.45 cents, versus 5.75 cents previously.