Jardine Matheson underlying profit up 65% amidst challenging conditions

Its underlying profit of $832.2m is still 17% below pre-COVID levels.

Jardine Matheson reported a 65% increase in its underlying profit of US$615m (approximately $832.2m) for the first half of the year.

This is still 17% behind 2019 levels.

“There were signs of improvement in the group’s performance and profitability in the first half compared with the same period last year, but COVID-19 continued to have an impact in most sectors and markets, and conditions are expected to remain challenging for the second half of the year,” said Executive Chairman Ben Keswick in a bourse disclosure.

He added that the lack of tourists from mainland China has impacted its businesses in North Asia, whilst the pandemic impacted its Southeast Asian businesses.

Government support relating to COVID-19 totalled US$36m (approximately $48.7m) for the first half and is expected to reduce significantly in the coming months.

Significant developments for the group early 2021 include the privatisation of Jardine Strategic Holdings in April, strengthening its partnership with ZhongSheng, Dairy Farm’s relaunch of its Giant brand in Malaysia, Hongkong Land’s three residential development projects in Mainland China, and Jardine C&C’s increased interest in Cycle & Carriage Bintang.

It expects more uncertainty to come from the ongoing pandemic, but is confident that it will be able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

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