Jardine Matheson 2018 net profit drops 56 percent on Dairy Farm charge

U.S. two-dollar billsPhoto by Leslie Shaffer

Holding company Jardine Matheson reported its 2018 net profit fell 56 percent on-year to US$1.73 billion, hit by a US$296 million restructuring charge for Dairy Farm’s Southeast Asia food business.

It also faced a net loss of US$316 million on unrealized fair value losses for non-current investments, it said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Thursday.

Underlying profit, which measures ongoing business performance, rose 10 percent on-year to US$1.70 billion, it said.

Jardine Matheson called it a “good overall result.”

“There were strong performances from Astra and Hongkong Land, as well as an improved performance from Jardine Cycle & Carriage’s
non-Astra businesses, while Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors and Dairy Farm were relatively flat against the prior year,” it said.

“At Dairy Farm, while results in four out of five business formats showed improvement, the structural challenges in Food continued to erode performance at an increased rate,” it added.

Jardine Matheson proposed a final dividend of US$1.28 a share, for a total full-year dividend of US$1.70, up 6 percent on-year.

The company pointed to a challenging outlook.

“After a good performance in 2018 driven primarily by Astra, Hongkong Land and Jardine Cycle & Carriage, we expect the Group to face more challenging conditions in 2019 due to economic uncertainties affecting consumer sentiment and commodity prices,” Ben Keswick, chairman and managing director, said in the statement.

Read more about the performance of Jardine Matheson’s segments.

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