TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore

ComfortDelGro Corporation Q1 profits slipped 19.6% to $66.3m

Revenue from nearly all its businesses except public transport fell.

ComfortDelGro Corporation (CDG) slammed the brakes on its earnings as they fell 19.6% from $82.5m last year to $66.3m in the first quarter of 2018. Revenue edged up 1% from $869.8m to $878.8m.

According to its financial statement, revenue was higher thanks to "a favourable foreign currency translation" of $5.2m and an increase in the underlying business of $3.8m, brought about by improved performance of its public transport services business.

Operating costs increased by 1.8% to $783.1m. Net income from investments fell by 77.4% to $3.1m due to the non-repetition of the special dividend from Cabcharge Australia Limited (CAB).

Public transport services business revenue jumped 8.9% to $611.2m thanks to higher fees earned under the Bus
Contracting Model (BCM) with higher operated mileage and higher ridership from rail services with the completed Downtown Line in Singapore.

"On 23 February 2018, SBS Transit was awarded the Bukit Merah Bus Package which will commence operations in the fourth quarter of 2018," CDG noted.

Taxi revenue fell 14.8% to $180.9m due to "increased competition" and to reductions in its operating fleet. Automotive engineering services revenue also fell 15.7% to $62.1m due to lower revenue from repair and maintenance of taxis and diesel sales to taxi hirers from a smaller taxi fleet.

CDG commented, "Revenue from the Taxi Business is expected to stabilise with the rationalisation of the competition landscape in Singapore and the recent acquisition of new taxi businesses in Australia, China, and the UK."

Its other businesses also saw lower revenue. CDG's inspection and testing services revenue dipped 1.2% to $25.4m, its car rental and leasing revenue crashed 23% to $6.7m, bus station revenue fell 8% to $6.9m, whilst its driving centre revenue stayed flat. 

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