ComfortDelGro posts 1H21 swung to net profit as transportation demand recovered

ComfortDelGro taxi in SingaporeComfortDelGro taxi in Singapore

ComfortDelGro reported Friday its first half swung to a net profit of S$91 million from a year-ago loss of S$6.6 million as global economic activity gradually picked up amid the ongoing pandemic, and all key segments posted growth.

Revenue for the January-to-June period rose 13.6 percent on-year to S$1.74 billion, getting an additional boost from a positive foreign-exchange translation effect, the taxi, bus and rental vehicle player said in a filing to SGX. Around S$57.9 million of the revenue boost came from the positive effect of a stronger Australian dollar and British pound, CDG said.

The first half was “painful, but tolerable,” Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelGro managing director and group CEO, said in the statement.

“The global situation continues to be difficult but it is definitely an improvement over the catastrophic conditions we all experienced last year. Whilst the situation may have improved compared to last year, the continuous see-saw effect of lockdowns and reopenings has taken its toll on businesses and the community alike,” Yang said.

Yang added the company has looked at ways to reduce costs without affecting jobs, as well as protecting people and keeping vehicles clean, and at extending rental relief to cabbies to mitigate the hit from low demand.

ComfortDelGro declared an interim dividend of 2.1 Singapore cents, compared with no dividend in the year-ago period.

The company is among the world’s largest land-transport players, with a fleet of 40,000 taxis, buses and rental vehicles, as well as running 83 km of light and heavy rail networks in Singapore; it has operations across Singapore, Australia, China, the U.K., Ireland, Vietnam and Malaysia.

  • Public transport services revenue increased 11.3 percent on-year in the first half to S$1.4 billion, mainly on improved rail ridership and fuel indexation in Singapore, and on higher ad hoc charter activities in Australia, CDG said.
  • The taxi business posted a 26.5 percent increase in revenue in the first half to S$225.9 million on lesser Covid-19 relief measures to drivers as business activity picked up.
  • Automotive engineering services posted first half revenue increased 4.1 percent on-year to S$85.5 million on increased economic activity this year.
  • Inspection and testing services reported a 23.1 percent on-year rise in revenue to S$49.1 million as the year-ago Circuit Breaker period dampened business volume.
  • The driving center business reported first half revenue jumped 71.6 percent on-year to S$26.6 million due to resumption of business after being fully closed during the year-ago Circuit Breaker period.
  • The car rental and leasing business posted first half revenue fell 6.5 percent on-year to S$13 million due to a smaller fleet as Singapore’s expatriate population shrank.
  • The China bus station segment reported first half revenue slipped 2.9 percent on-year to S$6.6 million on further lockdowns and travel restrictions.