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Rollercoaster Ride

Company Profile

The company was founded on March 2003 through the merger of Comfort Group and Delgro Corporation. Served markets are Singapore, UK, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia and 12 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang and Chengdu. 

Business portfolio consist of buses, subway, bus stations, taxi, vehicle inspection, automotive engineering, car rental and driving center. Subsidiaries listed in SGX are VICOM (vehicle inspection) and SBS Transit with more than 3,200 buses. 

Business Portfolio

Public transport (buses & subway) is the company largest portfolio contributing 71% sales in 2018. This group had been growing steadily as the firm expand her footprints in United Kingdom, Australia and China. 

Taxi is the second largest group contributing 19% of total sales in the last fiscal year. Business had been under enormous competitive pressure initially from Uber and Grab. Grab subsequently acquired Uber in Singapore last year. Despite decline in top line, operating margin increased from 11.2% to 17.8% from FY17 to FY18. 

Rest of business units constitutes 10% of total sale but contributed to 21% of earning in 2018. 

Geographical Performance

A sharp fall in Taxi business was the main reason behind the decline in Singapore sales along with weakness in Automotive Engineering. United Kingdom sales decline was mostly due to a weaker economy.

Australia revenue increases as a result of acquistion in 2018 e.g. Buslink and in May-2019  E&B Blanch.   

Financial Guestimate 2019

1H19 results is signalling growth in revenue for 2019 largely because of Public Transport, in particular Australia and to a small extend Automotive Engineering. However, margin remain challenged despite top line growth. 

While operating profit is projected to improves, this is likely to be negated by a substantial increase in finance cost; resulting in a marginal increase in net profit.

Policy Debate: Singapore Private Hire

Pending the outcome of this parliament debate; there is a likelihood that the eventual proposed initiative could reduce competition for taxi in Singapore. 

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