Jardine Strategic reports 2018 net profit dropped 57 percent

U.S. five dollar currency notes bills; taken September 2018.

Holding company Jardine Strategic reported on Thursday its 2018 net profit dropped 57 percent on-year to US$1.84 billion (S$2.48 billion) due to a restructuring charge for Dairy Farm’s Southeast Asia food business and unrealized fair value losses.

Revenue for the year ended 31 December rose 11 percent on-year to US$34.09 billion, while gross revenue including 100 percent of Jardine Matheson, associates and joint ventures increased 11 percent on-year to US$92.35 billion, it said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Thursday.

Underlying profit, which measures ongoing business performance, rose 14 percent on-year to US$1.78 billion for the year, it said.

“There were strong performances from Astra and Hongkong Land, as well as an improved performance from Jardine Cycle & Carriage’s non-Astra businesses, while Dairy Farm and Jardine Matheson’s directly held businesses were relatively flat against the prior year,” Jardine Strategic 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 said. “A significant (largely non-cash) restructuring charge was incurred in respect of the Southeast Asia Food business following the completion of a detailed strategic review, which concluded that Southeast Asia Food was not viable in its
current form.”

It added that Dairy Farm was undergoing a transformation program which would likely take several years to complete.

Jardine Strategic proposed a final dividend of 24 U.S. cents a share, bringing the full-year dividend to 34 U.S. cents a share, up 6 percent on-year.

It issued a cloudy 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.

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