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Jardine C&C's H1 profit falls 16%; revenue down 13%

JARDINE Cycle & Carriage (Jardine C&C) on Friday reported a 16 per cent drop in net profit to US$362 million and a 13 per cent fall in revenue to US$8.2 billion for the first half of this year.

The profit figure had accounted for a small non-trading loss. A year ago, the company had also enjoyed a net gain of US$20 million due largely to the recognition of negative goodwill from the acquisition of a stake in Astra Aviva Life in 2014.

The group's poorer earnings in the January-June 2015 period were due to less contribution from Astra International's businesses, particularly the automotive operations and agribusiness. Jardine C&C has an interest in just over half of Astra, a premier listed Indonesian conglomerate.

"Astra's earnings in the half year were lower in the face of reduced domestic consumption, intense competition in the car sector and lower commodity prices in Indonesia, and its contribution to the group was reduced further by a weaker rupiah exchange rate," the company said.

Astra contributed US$294 million to the group's underlying profit. The 13 per cent decline in its rupiah results was translated into a 23 per cent fall in US dollar terms, as the rupiah was on average 10 per cent weaker than in the first half of 2014.

"While the timing of a recovery is uncertain, our businesses are well-positioned once momentum is regained, and remain soundly underpinned by the strength of our balance sheets," the group said.

The board has declared an interim dividend of 18 US cents per share, unchanged from a year ago.

Jardine C&C is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group. Its results came on the heels of three Jardine companies - hotelier Mandarin Oriental, property developer Hongkong Land and retailer Dairy Farm - posting on Thursday lower earnings for their first six months as well.

Jardine C&C's shares on Friday closed 60 cents or 2 per cent lower at S$29.55.