SINGAPORE (Aug 9): SBS Transit announced that its 2Q18 earnings have increased by 52.9% to $19.4 million, compared to $12.7 million in 2Q17.

This brings 1H18 earnings to $36.2 million, 57.7% higher than $22.9 million in 1H18.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $344.9 million, 19.8% higher than $287.8 million a year ago.

The group’s Public Transport Services segment saw revenue increase by 20.3% y-o-y to $330.1 million, due mainly to higher fees earned with higher operated mileage following the commencement of the Seletar Bus Package in Mar 2018 and higher ridership from rail services with the commencement of Downtown Line (DTL) 3 from Oct 2017, offset by lower average fare due to the fare reduction.

For 2Q18, average daily ridership for the DTL grew by 80.6% to 437,000 passenger trips. Average daily ridership for North-East Line grew by 2.3% to 579,000 passenger trips and that for the Light Rail Transit by 8.1% to 129,000 passenger trips as compared to the same period last year.

Despite the increase in rail ridership, rail operations continue to incur losses as the fare revenue is not sufficient to cover rising operating and maintenance costs.

Revenue from Other Commercial Services of $14.8m was higher by 10.7% y-o-y due mainly to higher advertising revenue following the commencement of DTL 3.

Total operating costs increased by 18.2% y-o-y to $321.1 million, bringing operating profit for 2Q18 to $23.8 million, 46% higher than $16.2 million last year.

SBS has declared an interim dividend of 5.80 cents per share, while will be payable on Aug 27.

On the outlook, the group expects revenue from the Public Transport Services segment to be higher from both bus and rail, while revenue from Rail Service is expected to be higher mainly due to a full year revenue contribution from DTL 3.

Meanwhile, revenue from Other Commercial Services is expected to be maintained.

Shares in SBS last traded 2 cents lower at $2.53 on Wednesday.