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SBS Transit posts 23.3% rise in Q1 net profit to S$20.7m

BUS and train operator SBS Transit on Monday posted a 23.3 per cent rise in net profit to S$20.7 million for the first quarter ended March 31.

Revenue also increased 6.9 per cent to S$350.8 million from S$328.2 million a year ago, driven by higher operated mileage for bus services and higher rail ridership.

Earnings per share was 6.63 Singapore cents, up from 5.39 cents in Q1 2018.

For the first quarter, average daily ridership for the Downtown Line grew 10.4 per cent to 476,000 passenger trips, while ridership grew 3.2 per cent to 603,000 passenger trips for the North-East Line (NEL). For the Light Rail Transit, passenger trips increased 10.4 per cent to 141,000 passenger trips.

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SBS Transit said revenue from both segments of public transport services is expected to grow. Bus service revenue is expected to climb with the full-year contribution from the Seletar and Bukit Merah Bus Packages, which commenced operations from March 2018 and November 2018 respectively.

Rail service revenue will also benefit from higher ridership and the 4.3 per cent fare adjustment effective from Dec 29, 2018. However, operating and maintenance costs are expected to rise as the NEL and Sengkang and Punggol Light Rapid Transit fleet continues to age.

SBS Transit shares closed at S$4.05 on Monday, up five cents or 1.25 per cent before the results were announced.