ComfortDelGro reported Monday its 2021 net profit climbed 114 percent on-year to S$130.1 million, with transportation demand improving as Covid-related restrictions eased.
Revenue for the 12 months ended 31 December increased 9.1 percent on-year to S$3.54 billion, the land-transportation operator said in a filing to SGX.
Growth in underlying business accounted for S$215.5 million of the revenue increase, while a favorable foreign currency translation of S$80.2 million accounted for the remainder, the filing said.
Full-year revenue from the public transport services business rose 9.3 percent on-year to S$2.8 billion, mainly on fuel indexation from higher oil prices in Singapore, increased charter activity in Australia and higher activity in the U.K., the company said.
“Revenue from public transport services is expected to improve as rail ridership in Singapore, bus charter in Australia and coach services in the U.K. continue to recover with the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions. The group’s New Zealand Rail joint-venture Auckland One Rail also took over operations of the Auckland metro from January 2022,” ComfortDelGro said.
The taxi business posted full-year revenue rose 5.7 percent on-year to S$426.1 million as Covid-related rental discounts were reduced and rental rebates were lowered.
The taxi segment swung to an operating profit of S$18.5 million for 2021 from a year-ago operating loss of S$64.4 million, mainly on lower discounts, cost optimisation from more efficient hybrid taxis and lower provisions for impairment on vehicles and goodwill, the filing said.
“Singapore taxi revenues are expected to improve with the lowering of Covid-19 rental discounts. Driver earnings are expected to improve from the easing of restrictions and resumption of international travel,” the company said.
The outlook was cautiously optimistic.
“It has been another challenging year but the high global vaccination rate has helped economic recovery through the easing of social restrictions and the reopening of borders. As a transport operator, we have certainly benefitted from the increases in economic activity but we are not out of the woods yet,” Yang Ban Seng, ComfortDelGro’s managing director and group CEO, said in the statement.
“Demand has not reached pre-Covid levels as many workers continue to work from home and social restrictions remain in force in many geographies. But, we remain hopeful that global recovery will continue,” Yang said.
Yang said the company will continue its digitalisation, electrification and sustainability efforts.
ComfortDelGro proposed a final dividend of 2.1 Singapore cents a share, in addition to the interim dividend of 2.1 Singapore cents a share.