ComfortDelGro full year profit up 4.1% to $228.5mn

Group revenue would have increased by 6.8% to $3.26 billion if not for the negative foreign currency translation effect as its overseas revenue accounted for 43.0% of Group revenue.

ComfortDelGro Corporation’s full year revenue increased by 5.1% to a record $3.21 billion on the back of broad-based segmental growth, according to a ComfortDelGro report.

In line with the growth in revenue, operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2010 was 11.0% higher at $388.4 million. If not for the negative foreign currency translation effect of $2.6 million, the increase in operating profit would have been 11.7% higher at $391.0 million.

Full-year net profit increased by 4.1% to $228.5 million as taxation for the Group increased by 33.7%.

ComfortDelGro Managing Director/Group CEO, Mr Kua Hong Pak, said: “We are pleased that we have continued to grow both our topline and bottomline for the year just ended. We have also expanded our global fleet to more than 46,000 vehicles, giving us the flexibility to do even more in terms of leveraging on technology.

“However, global uncertainties, particularly the volatility of oil prices, will pose challenges in the new year,” he said.

Operations Review

Bus
At Group level, full-year revenue from the bus business increased by 5.3% to $1.61 billion on the back of strong growth in Australia. If not for the negative foreign currency translation effect, revenue from the bus business would have been 7.0% higher at $1.64 billion.

In Singapore, bus revenue at SBS Transit increased by 0.5% to $549.0 million as average daily ridership grew by 4.0% - more than compensating for the lower average fares. If bus advertising and rental income were included, total revenue would be 1.4% higher at $585.3 million. The Group’s unscheduled bus business in Singapore recorded a 34.3% increase in revenue in 2010 due mainly to contracted services for the Youth Olympic Games.

In Australia, revenue from the bus business grew by 34.8% to $373.0 million, boosted by growth in services operated and the strengthening of the Australian Dollar.

The bus business in the United Kingdom, with a full-year revenue of $562.0 million, remained the single largest contributor to overseas bus revenue despite the weaker Sterling Pound. At the operational level, revenue from the bus operations in London increased by $4.8 million due to new routes, more mileages operated and contract price adjustments. This was however more than offset by a negative currency translation effect of $39.3 million.

In China, revenue from the bus business slipped by 0.3% to $60.8 due to the negative foreign currency translation effect.

Overseas bus revenue accounted for 61.7% of total Group bus revenue in 2010, compared to 60.7% in the previous year. Significantly, operating profit from the Group’s overseas bus operations crossed the 70%-mark for the first time, accounting for 72.5% of total Group bus operating profit.

Taxi
At Group level, full-year revenue for the taxi business increased by 5.9% to $981.9 million, thanks to an increase in Singapore and a first-time contribution from Swan Taxis in Perth. The increase in revenue would have been larger at $74.7 million or 8.1% if not for the negative translation effect of the weaker Sterling Pound, Chinese Renminbi and Vietnamese Dong.

In Singapore, revenue from the taxi business was 9.6% higher at $696.0 million due to higher rental income from a larger fleet, an increase in new replacement taxis and a higher volume of cashless transactions.
Following its acquisition in October 2010, Swan Taxis in Perth contributed revenue of $4.5 million to the Group.

In the UK, China and Vietnam, increases in revenue were more than offset by the negative foreign currency translation effect. As a result, revenue from the taxi business in the UK fell by 4.0% to $149.5 million, while revenue from the taxi business in China decreased by 3.6% to $124.5 million.

In Vietnam, revenue slipped by 3.9% to $7.4 million Revenue and operating profit from the Group’s overseas taxi operations accounted for 29.1% and 35.9% of total Group taxi revenue and operating profit respectively.

Rail
Revenue from the rail business increased by 11.5% to $121.7 million as ridership for both the North East Line (NEL) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Systems grew. Average daily ridership for NEL and the Sengkang and Punggol LRTs increased by 16.4% to 379,000 and 12.2% to 52,000 respectively. If advertising and rental income was included, total revenue would be $134.4 million, representing an increase of 12.3% over the previous year.

Bus Station
Revenue from the bus station business increased by 6.1% to $22.7 million as growth in the number of passengers using the station, higher cargo revenue and higher rental income more than offset the negative foreign currency translation effect.

Vehicle Inspection and Testing
Revenue from the Group’s vehicle inspection and testing business grew by 8.2% to $86.0 million due to an increase in the number of vehicles inspected and more projects completed by the testing business.

Driving Centre
Revenue from the driving centre business increased by 12.0% to $38.3 million with higher enrolments at the driving centres in Singapore and China.

Car Rental and Leasing
Revenue from the car rental and leasing business increased by 0.9% to $33.7 million due to better utilisation rates.

Dividend

A final tax-exempt one-tier dividend of 2.80 cents per share has been proposed. Together with the normal interim tax-exempt one-tier dividend of 2.70 cents paid earlier, the total dividend for 2010 would be 5.50 cents per share if the final dividend is approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 27 April 2011.

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