The circuit breaker period, which slowed the vehicle inspection business to a trickle, dragged Vicom's half-year profits down by 30 per cent to $9.7 million.
The vehicle inspection and testing unit of transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp reported yesterday that revenue fell by 22 per cent to $39.8 million for the six months ended June 30.
Despite operating cost falling by 17 per cent to $28.4 million and the Government's Covid-19 relief of $3.8 million, the huge revenue lost during the stay-home period, from April to June, impacted the bottom line adversely.
During this period, only goods vehicles, buses, taxis, private-hire vehicles and motorcycles were allowed to be inspected. These formed a small proportion of the total vehicle population.
Vicom's earnings per share fell from 3.92 cents to 2.74 cents. Its net asset value per share stood at 33.72 cents, compared with 37.04 cents as of Dec 31 last year.
Directors, however, expect things to improve. For the vehicle testing business, the demand for periodic testing is expected to pick up with the end of the circuit breaker, although emission testing for new cars will be impacted by a smaller supply of certificates of entitlement.
Profit margins are expected to be further trimmed as competitors bid more aggressively for a significantly lower volume of non-vehicle testing work, they noted. They said their outlook "assumes that Singapore does not re-enter another circuit breaker".