SINGAPORE: Local train and bus operator SMRT posted on Wednesday a 58.4 per cent rise in net profit to S$22.5 million for the fiscal third quarter, helped by higher rental income and a sharp reduction in losses from its bus operations.
Contributing to SMRT’s improved performance was an increase in operating profit from train operations to S$3.2 million from S$0.4 million a year ago.
The bus operations, meanwhile, slashed operating losses to S$0.5 million for the quarter from S$8.7 million previously, helped by higher revenue and productivity management efforts.
SMRT also managed to increase operating profits from rental business by 11.8 per cent to S$20.7 million, mainly due to higher rental renewal rates of commercial spaces.
From April 2015, bus and train fares will increase by 2.8% in a move which the Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew said was necessary for sustainability. Apparently what he meant was for the transport companies to sustain obscene profit margin in the face of increasing cost of living.
As an indication to perhaps further fare increase in the future, SMRT warned that the business environment continues to be challenging due to structural cost pressures arising from tightened regulatory standards and heightened operational demands on service, reliability and capacity.
“This truly encapsulates what the transport companies are all about,” said a commuter who refused to be identified.
“They are profit-making monsters oblivious to the plight of their commuters.”