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Vicom posts 5% fall in Patmi for Q3

VICOM posted a 5 per cent slip in its profit after tax and minority interest (Patmi) for the third quarter ended Sept 30, from S$7.15 million a year ago to S$6.82 million.

Revenue for the vehicle-inspection firm, a subsidiary of transport operator ComfortDelGro Corp, fell by 16 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), from S$26.4 million to S$22.2 million for the quarter.

The company attributed this mainly to the lower business volumes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its operating costs also decreased from S$17.9 million a year ago to S$13.9 million.

Part of the lower operating costs was attributed to the Covid-19 government reliefs of S$2.1 million in the Jobs Support Scheme, and waivers and rebates on the foreign worker levy; the remaining S$1.9 million from lower operating costs came as a result of lower staff costs and other variable costs in tandem with the lower revenue.

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However, due to the decline in revenue - which offset the government reliefs and lower operating costs, Vicom's operating profit in Q3 fell 3 per cent y-o-y from S$8.53 million to S$8.26 million.

In a bourse filing on Monday, Vicom said that its vehicle-inspection business is back to normal as inspection for private cars, including those that were deferred in Q2, resumed on June 8.

Inspection and emissions testing for new-car registrations resumed with the reopening of the COE bidding on July 6.

As for its non-vehicle testing business, improvement during the quarter was "uneven" for the different sectors Vicom serves, particularly in the construction industry, where work progress was hampered by several start-stops as a result of resurgence of Covid-19 in the dormitories around August and September.

This was on top of having to fulfil additional requirements for workers in the construction, process and marine industries, such as having to put them through routine rostered testing every fortnight, staggering their days off, arranging for dedicated and safe transport arrangement between work sites and dormitories, and having split teams at sites.

"All these have significant impact on both costs as well as productivity," said Vicom, which said that it thus expects its non-vehicle testing business to "continue to face challenges ahead".

Nonetheless, the company returned to profitability in Q3, a turnaround from its loss in Q2 before the government reliefs. It has a cash balance of S$89.2 million.

Vicom shares closed unchanged at S$2.02 on Monday, prior to the results announcement.

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