CMB plunges 93pc as franchise ends
China Motor Bus (CMB), the company that for 65 years ran the exclusive bus service on Hong Kong Island before being stripped of its franchise in September, yesterday revealed a 93.48 per cent slide in net profit.
The Ngan family-run company said attributable profit fell to $177.3 million for the year to June 30, the last year for which it will see full contributions from its bus operations.
CMB made a net profit of $2.72 billion the year before, when it booked gains from the development of its North Point bus depot, now the joint Swire Properties and CMB-developed Island Place retail and housing complex.
Provisions of $121.63 million further drove down CMB's profit, of which $102.48 million was made for the decline in value of an associated company.
The company - founded by one-time rickshaw puller Ngan Shing-kwan - also booked provisions of $7.45 million for the termination of its bus franchise and $11.7 million for deferred profits.
CMB and its owners are notoriously media-shy and did not make a statement to elaborate on the company's financial situation.
Operating profit plunged 72.1 per cent to $113.65 million despite sales rising 3.1 per cent to $859.82 million.
Earnings per share were $3.83, down from $58.82 a year ago.
The company said it would pay shareholders a final dividend of 20 cents for a payout of $4.40 per share. It paid shareholders $5.81 per share last year.
**Please note that late Ngan Shing-kwan was not a rickshaw puller. He
was a founder of a rickshaw company.