theonlinecitizen

a community of singaporeans

Comfort Delgro’s profits rise

Posted by theonlinecitizen on August 14, 2007

The newspaper, TODAY, carried this report in its August 14, 2007, issue:

“For the half-year ended June 30, 2007, ComfortDelGro achieved an
8.6-per-cent increase in revenue to about $1.5 billion. Net profit rose
10.5 per cent to $113.9 million.”
(Click here and here)

Comfort Delgro is the parent company which runs SBS Transit.

The other public transport operator, SMRT, earlier released its report for the financial year ending March 31:

“The group turned in sterling results for the year ended March 31. Net earnings after tax rose by 31 per cent to $135.8 million – a record since listing in 2000.”
(“SMRT posts record $136m gain”)

Both SMRT and SBS Transit have submitted applications to the Public Transport Council (PTC) to raise fares.

The PTC’s decision will be known next month (Oct). Any increase will also take effect in October.

Read also: Fare hike for public transport in October?

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9 Responses to “Comfort Delgro’s profits rise”

  1. Clarence said

    Sure, I’m sure we will all be surprised when the decision is made.

    Give us something to cheer about PTC. Everything’s been rising (except my share prices), surely something can stay constant!

  2. eX.A.K.R. said

    I have a bit of a weak support for SBS Transit’s call to raise fares, but for SMRT, I say: to hell with it. SBS Transit has been trying to improve their services, and this is clear in the service improvements that really help, unlike SMRT’s mostly cosmetic “improvements” and “enhancements” while pinching every penny they can see and sending the quality of their bus and train services to hell. Of course, SBS Transit is also pinching a bit of pennies here and there, but at least they show that they are investing the pinched pennies back – SMRT pinch them and then they seemingly disappear into a black hole.

    I hope both companies can really sit up and listen to what we commuters really want – SBS Transit is already doing that but it still has room for improvement, while I hope someone can slap SMRT out of their trance and wake them up from their dreamy state. Rather than always asking for fare increases, they should consider whether they can invest their profits into their businesses first, and then turn to us if they really don’t have enough money – and they should also rethink about whether they should put their shareholders first, or their customers – we the commuters – first.

    That said, I believe we commuters should also learn to be more understanding, and accept the fact that buses and the MRT will never be as comfortable as the sinful comforts of our own cars, and no matter where you are in the world, buses will always come round in twos and threes, and not just in Singapore. And when we complain about dirty buses and trains, keep in mind that while the transport companies are responsible for cleaning them up, we should also be responsible and don’t go about dirtying their buses and trains – they will just have to spend more money in maintaining them, and that gives them an excuse to raise fares.

    Yes, I know I sound like someone’s mouthpiece, but I hope everyone can see this from a more neutral viewpoint, and not go jumping onto whatever conclusions or go “kau peh kau bu”.

  3. aygee said

    While MRT and SBS seek to raise prices, is there any way consumers or shareholders or the common public can question the management on other areas? i dont know how much this happens at their AGMs.

    For example, before passing on increasing operating costs (which i assume will be their usual justification for the hike) to the commuter, to what extent have they tried to:

    1. reduce costs – be it operating costs, overheads, management costs etc? I would really like to hear their efforts in this area.

    2. attempts to increase other revenue sources – eg advertising. How successful have they been in this space? have they allowed for more creative media space selling? have they come up with attractive media packages for potential advertisers?

    3. is there a charter/statement within PTC that seeks to protect the consumer/commuter? For example, here in HK, The Hong Kong govt clearly states that they follow a consumer-first policy. Thats why they allow for competition in the marketplace for public transport, with the consumer gaining most and fare prices are based on perfect competition.

    Shareholders, press, consumer associations, NGOs and MPs (both from pro-democracy and pro-Beijing partices) are very vocal in challenging the transport companies whenever fare prices are discussed.

    4. Can we write in to PTC to ask them to challenge the transport companies on these fare hikes? Can we get the transport companies be very transparent about their cost reduction/other revenue stream activities?

    we need people to lobby against fare hikes like these, but i have a feeling we might just end up putting our hands up and sighing and complaining.

  4. Andrew Loh said

    What really interests me is that since the announcement that the operators had applied for a fare hike, there has been only one letter in the mainstream Straits Times complaining about it. And this letter appeared only yesterday – 13 august – some 12 days after the announcement.

  5. Lilian said

    Andrew, the rest had been supressed…as usual 😦

  6. Andrew Loh said

    Lilian,

    It sure looks that way, doesn’t it? I guess that’s the thing with having a media that is subservient to a govt.

    Regards,
    Andrew

  7. Keith said

    It is the same application for fare increase we hear for the past years and it won’t be the last. We will hear it again next year and the next few years. The PTC has said that a small fare increase every year is better than a huge one every few years; so it is a given that fare will increase unless there is a recession. Even then, we have never seen the fare reduced….what an irony!

    Indeed we need to expose these transport operators to competition like it is in Hong Kong. That will force these operators to reduce their fare to stay competitive and think out of the box to maximise their revenues from other sources such as advertisement. As it is, we can see that this area has not been maximised as evident by the number of advertisements or lack of.

    The problem is whether the Ministry of Transport and PTC are willing to listen. Perhaps, they think they know better.

  8. RaymondChua said

    Keith,
    of course, in order to protect their profit-making monopoly business, you have the gov saying that they will not allow thirdparty to compete because it will compromise service quality. And sure, you keep hearing LKY and cronies praising their own transporation company which ironically it is the only game in town with no competitors. Similar case happen with Strait Times as the most popular newspaper. Of course it is popular because it the ‘only’ newspaper that report local news.

    Anything gov can make money, they will do themselves. Anything that will lose money, they will give others to do it and find someway to dig money from those people, etc SDU.

    So is it surprising that this has been the case all along ?

  9. getoutof@singapore.inc said

    gentlemen, there is no point urging about this as no one will hear what you are saying. show your concern and feedback during the next GE.

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