ComfortDelGro Corporation reported a loss of $6 million for 1HFY20 ended June 30, hurt by the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak. In the year-earlier period, the operator of buses, taxis and trains was able to generate earnings of $146.3 million. 

Revenue in the same period was down 20.8% y-o-y to $1.53 billion, as ridership fell due to the circuit breaker measures.

“The first six months of 2020 have been nothing short of catastrophic,” said chairman Lim Jit Poh.

“The global economy has gone into tailspin, with record numbers of businesses shuttering and unemployment rates soaring. The magnitude of destruction brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is massive and the worst may not be over,” he added.

Lim said that if not for the government subsidies, the company would have been $66.1 million in the red instead of just $6 million.

The company, tends to be generous with its dividend, will not be giving an interim dividend this time round.

“This is the first time we have done this and we feel it is the only prudent thing to do as we need to conserve cash. We will be reviewing the final dividend at the end of the financial year in accordance with our existing dividend policy,” said Lim.

The company typically reviews the carrying value of its assets only at the financial year-end periods. However, given the challenging conditions, ComfortDelGro has taken a charge of $30.8 million and the amount will be further reviewed at year-end.

As at June 30, the company holds cash and equivalent of $594.2 million, up slightly from $586.1 million as at Dec 31 2019.

ComfortDelGro closed Aug 14 at $1.39, down 1.42% for the day and down 41.3% year to date.