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Jardine C&C Q3 net profit up 13% on automotive sales, higher commodity prices

CONGLOMERATE Jardine Cycle & Carriage recorded a 13 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit to US$211.1 million thanks to a strong showing from the group's main profit contributor, Astra International.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept 30 went up 13 per cent to reach US$4.4 billion.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage operates vehicle and financial service businesses through Indonesia's Astra International, which is South-east Asia's largest independent automotive company and also a 45 per cent owner of Permata Bank.

Earnings per share for the July to September quarter was 53 US cents, up from 47 US cents in the same period a year earlier. Net asset value per share was US$5.77 as at Sept 30, from US$5.61 as at Dec 31 last year.

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The company has not declared a third-quarter dividend.

Astra reported a net profit equivalent to US$1.1 billion under Indonesian accounting standards for the nine months ended Sept 30, 26 per cent higher in its local currency, with increases seen in most of its operations.

The group's automotive businesses achieved improved market shares for both cars and motorcycles, but experienced an increasingly competitive car market, Jardine said in its exchange filing.

The results from its financial services businesses improved with a return to profit by Permata Bank, while increased commodity prices led to a strong performance from heavy equipment and mining, as well as its agribusiness activities.

Chairman Ben Keswick said that the outlook for the rest of the year "is expected to remain positive as Astra's results will continue to benefit from the increased commodity prices".

However, there are concerns over greater competition in the car market as well as increased provisioning in certain financing activities, he noted.