Transport operator SMRT on Friday (Oct 31) said its profit after tax and minority interests for the second quarter of the current financial year rose 75.5 per cent year-on-year to S$25.3 million.

Operating profit for the quarter increased 66.5 per cent compared to a year ago to S$33.3 million, on the back of higher operating profit in fare business of $5.5 million and in non-fare business of S$27.2 million, SMRT said.

Its operating profit from train operations increased by S$6.6 million on the back of higher revenue and lower electricity costs, partially offset by higher depreciation. LRT losses, however, widened from S$400,000 to S$700,000, it said.

Bus operations improved from an operating loss of S$7.4 million to a lower operating loss of S$1.4 million, which it said was due mainly to higher revenue and productivity gains.

SMRT’s operating expenses rose 2.5 per cent to S$292.9 million, due mainly to higher staff and depreciation costs, partially offset by lower energy expenditure, the transport operator said.

“The fare business environment will continue to be challenging owing to heightened operational demands on service, reliability and capacity,” SMRT said. “The group will continue to grow its non-fare business by building on its rail engineering capabilities, and exploring local out-of-network and international opportunities.”

The SMRT board has declared an interim dividend of 1.5 cents per ordinary share.

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