TRANSPORT operator SMRT Corporation on Thursday posted a 20.1 per cent increase in net profit to S$109.3 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2016, even as it noted that increases in operating costs outstripped fare adjustments.
Revenue for the 12-month period was S$1.3 billion, a 4.9 per cent increase.
For the fourth quarter, it posted a 27.6 per cent rise in net profit to S$26.6 million. Revenue for the period stood at S$320 million, up 2.8 per cent from the same period a year ago.
Earnings per share (EPS) for the full year were 7.17 Singapore cents, up from 5.98 Singapore cents in FY2015. EPS for the quarter was 1.74 Singapore cents, up from 1.37 Singapore cents in Q4 FY2015.
The board has proposed a final dividend per ordinary share (DPS) of 2.50 cents. Including the interim DPS of 1.50 cents, this will bring the total DPS in FY2016 to four cents.
The overall operating profit from the group's non-rail business increased 22.6 per cent to S$133.3 million in FY2016, due largely to improved profitability in the bus, rental and taxi segments.
Among them, operating profit from taxi operations increased 24 per cent to S$17 million for the full year, as taxi rental contribution rose due to a newer and larger hired-out fleet.
Rail operations reported a lower operating profit of S$7.4 million for the full year compared to S$9.6 million in FY2015.
This was helped by a net property tax refund of S$17.1 million relating to prior years' over-assessment, without which rail operations would have suffered an operating loss of S$9.6 million.
"As fare adjustments have not kept pace with rising operating costs over the years, the current rail operating landscape continues to be challenging. The group is expected to incur higher operating expenses attributable to the intensive maintenance and renewal programmes of the ageing network," said SMRT.