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Full-year profits up by 163% for Tan Chong International, board proposes dividend

AUTOMOBILE company Tan Chong International recorded HK$501.92 million (S$84.12 million) in profit attributable to shareholders, a jump of 163 per cent from the previous year.

The boost in the bottom line came despite a 5.3 per cent drop in revenue to HK$15.9 billion, mainly due to sales volume decline in its motor vehicle distribution and retail division, Tan Chong said.

Both Singapore and China markets experienced slowdowns, Tan Chong added, while Taiwan and the Philippines both saw "healthy growth".

Hong Kong-headquartered Tan Chong also said it saw improvement in its gross profit margin with a reduction in distribution costs of 1.1 per cent, tempered by an increase in administrative costs of 1.8 per cent.

Profit from operations increased to HK$952.2 million, a 38 per cent increase over 2016.

Earnings per share stood at 25 Hong Kong cents, against nine Hong Kong cents the previous year.

Tan Chong's board is proposing a final dividend of 8.5 Hong Kong cents per share, payable on June 21, 2018 to shareholders, subject to approval at its May 28 annual general meeting.

"We continue to push forward with the ongoing cost reduction and productivity initiatives to create a more lean and competitive organisation," Tan Chong noted.

The group is "cautiously optimistic" for 2018, despite geopolitical risks, Tan Chong said, and it will "continue to invest in the development of its motor and commercial vehicle business", as it "scales up its dealer and retail networks, supply chain logistics infrastructure and brand presence".