SINGAPORE (Feb 13): ComfortDelGro, one of the world’s largest land transport companies, today announced that its FY18 earnings have increased by 0.6% to $303.3 million, compared to $301.5 million in FY17.

However, adjusting for the one-off special dividend from A2B Australia Limited in 2017 and the net gain on the Surrender of lease of the property at Teban Gardens from VICOM in 2018, earnings for FY18 would have been $298.2 million, 2.3% higher than earnings of $291.5 million in FY17.

Revenue for the full-year ended Dec 2018 saw a 6.4% increase to $3.81 billion from $3.58 billion in the previous year, mainly due to contribution from new acquisitions and higher contributions from the group’s existing businesses. The increase in revenue came mainly from the Public Transport Services Business offset by decreases in the Taxi Business and the Automotive Engineering Services Business.

The group’s public transport services business saw revenue increase 12.9% y-o-y to $2.71 billion, due mainly to higher fee earned with higher operated mileage following the commencement of the Seletar and Bukit Merah Bus Packages in Mar 2018 and Nov 2018, respectively, as well as higher ridership from Downtown Line 3.

The taxi business saw revenue drop by 9.7% y-o-y to $726.5 million due to a reduction in operating fleet. The automotive engineering services business also dropped 7.7% y-o-y to $261.7 million due to repair and maintenance of taxis from a smaller taxi fleet.

Revenue from the group’s inspection and testing services business of $110.5 million for 2018 was 6.3% higher y-o-y due mainly to the net gain on the surrender of lease of the property at Teban Gardens in Singapore included as other income.

Revenue from the driving centre business of $43.5 million was 3.1% higher y-o-y, while revenue from the group’s car rental and leasing business was 15.2% lower y-o-y at $4.8 million, and revenue from its bus station business declined by 5.9% y-o-y to $24.1 million.

Total operating costs also increased by 6.3% to $3.37 billion from $3.17 billion a year ago, mainly due to an increase in staff costs, fuel and electricity costs, as well as repairs and maintenance costs.

This brings FY18 operating profit to $438.8 million, 7.2% higher than $409.2 million last year.

As at Dec 31, 2018, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $586.1 million.

The group has declared a final cash dividend of 6.15 cents per share, which will be payable on May 14.

Yang Ban Seng, managing director and group CEO of ComfortDelGro says, “Our M&A activities have started to bear fruit, giving a much needed boost to our existing businesses. We will continue to look at investment opportunities and new technological initiatives which will further strengthen our foundation for growth.”

Shares in ComfortDelGro closed 2.15% higher at $2.38 on Wednesday.