SINGAPORE - Bus and train operator SBS Transit posted a 50.3 per cent rise in net earnings to $47.1 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2017.
The substantial increase, which came on the back of a mere 8.5 per cent growth in revenue to $1.2 billion, was thanks to the government bus contracting model, higher ridership and commencement of Downtown Line 3.
Total operating cost rose by 7.1 per cent to $1.1 billion.
Earnings per share stood at 15.17 cents, up from 10.12. Net asset value per share was $1.44, up from $1.35. Its operating margin before tax, interest and depreciation improved from 11.2 to 13.1 per cent.
The ComfortDelGro subsidiary had cash and equivalents of $5.3 million, up from $4.3 million the year before. Its gross gearing ratio was 40.3 per cent as at Dec 31, 2017 - down from 51.7 per cent a year earlier.
SBS Transit said average daily ridership for its North-east Line grew by 2 per cent to 576,000 trips. Its Sengkang-Punggol LRT ridership rose by 5.9 per cent to 121,000.
Revenue from other commercial services of $56 million for 2017 was lower by 12.4 per cent because of lower advertising and rental revenue arising from the loss of the Bulim and Loyang Bus Packages.
Directors expect transport revenue to continue growing this year and are recommending a final dividend of 3.95 cents - up from 2.7 cents previously.