ComfortDelGro Corporation (CDG) posted a profit after tax and minority interest (PATMI) of $56.2 million for the 1QFY2021 ended March, up 56,1% y-o-y from $36 million previously.

The higher PATMI comes despite a 0.7% y-o-y dip in revenue to $856.3 million. Revenue included government relief of $8.1 million, primarily from the UK. Excluding government relief, revenue fell 1.6% or $14.2 millon, most driven by its taxi and automotive engineering services segments.

Total operating costs fell 3.9% or $31.5 million y-o-y for the 1QFY2021, primarily due to worker-related government relief of $25.3 million.

To that end, operating profit grew 45.4% y-o-y to $81.3 million. Excluding government relief, operating profit would have fallen 14.3% y-o-y to $47.9 million.

On a q-o-q basis, revenue grew 3.9% for the 1QFY2021, while operating profit grew 12.1%. Excluding government relief, operating profit grew 61.4% q-o-q.

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Cash and short-term deposits stood at $844.4 million as at March 31, compared to $742.8 million as at end-December 2020.

SEE:ComfortDelGro, SBS Transit and Vicom set up board sustainability committees

In its quarterly update on May 12, CDG notes that its business outlook continues to gradually improve, though uncertainties remain given the emergence of new virus variants. CDG expects a “prolonged and uneven recovery ahead” as vaccination programs continue to be rolled out, international travel remains limited, and government support scales down.

Concurrent to its quarterly update, CDG announced that it is exploring various options to unlock the value of its assets in Australia, where it operates bus services.

CDG states that potential options include a partial sale of assets or an initial public offering. The group currently operates in six states and territories in Australia, with a total investment of $1.17 billion to-date, CDG’s single-largest overseas investment. The Australian businesses posted revenue of $608 million in FY2020.

“As part of a strategic review of our businesses, and a new focus on renewable energy, we have been looking at our global portfolio to see where we can unlock value for shareholders as well as investing in new technologies including electrification, says CDG chairman Lim Jit Poh.

CDG says it will update on developments as they become material.

Shares in CDG closed flat at $1.63 on May 12.