At the Annual General Meeting of Transport International Holdings Limited (TIH) today (Thursday, 21 May 2009), the Group’s Chairman, Sir Sze-yuen Chung, reported the financial results for 2008. For the year ended 31 December 2008, the Group’s profit attributable to equity shareholders amounted to HK$658.7 million, a decrease of 82.9% compared to 2007. Earnings per share decreased correspondingly from HK$9.53 for 2007 to HK$1.63 for 2008. The profit for 2008 included the non-recurrent after-tax profit of HK$366.2 million arising from the further sales of 27 residential units of Manhattan Hill by Lai Chi Kok Properties Investment Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Group’s Property Holdings and Development Division.
The Board of Directors has proposed an ordinary final dividend for 2008 of HK$1.05 per share. Together with the ordinary interim dividend of HK$0.30 per share paid on 16 October 2008, total dividends for the year 2008 will amount to HK$1.35 per share.
Sir Sze-yuen said, “During the year, the financial performance of the Group’s franchised public bus business operated by The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (“KMB”) and Long Win Bus Company Limited (“LWB”) was adversely affected by historically high fuel oil prices, particularly in the first nine months of 2008. Although the price of Singapore 0.5% Sulphur Gas Oil, on which the price of ultra-low sulphur diesel used by our franchised public bus fleets is based, eased off in the fourth quarter of 2008, the total fuel cost of KMB and LWB for the whole year of 2008 was HK$406.7 million higher than that for 2007. Together with the increase in staff salaries and other operating expenses, the total operating cost of KMB and LWB for 2008 rose to HK$6,408.6 million, representing an increase of 7.4% compared to 2007.”
“In response to KMB and LWB’s submission of applications to the HKSAR Government in September 2007 for a fare increase of 9.0% and 5.9% respectively, the Government granted a fare increase of 4.5% to both companies, which took effect from 8 June 2008. Notwithstanding the implementation of the fare increase and various cost control measures, the after-tax profit of KMB and LWB for 2008 decreased by 64.6% and 34.3% respectively compared to 2007.”
In common with other transport sectors, the Group’s Non-franchised Transport Operations Division was adversely affected by high oil prices and escalating costs in 2008. During the year, Sun Bus Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries continued to enhance economies of scale by acquiring more coaches. The financial performance of the Group’s joint venture transport companies in Mainland cities was also suppressed by rising fuel costs and other operating expenses. As for the RoadShow Group, its net profit attributable to shareholders for 2008 decreased by 14.1% compared to that for 2007.
The whole organisation of KMB has been ISO accredited since 1999, an achievement unmatched by any other public bus company in Hong Kong. In November 2008, Sun Bus Limited, the flagship company of the Group’s Non-franchised Transport Operations Division, obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification for the provision of non-franchised bus services, becoming the first commercial non-franchised bus company in Hong Kong to achieve such accreditation.
Sir Sze-yuen added, “The successful operation and development of our various businesses have been made possible by the commitment and dedication of all our people who have worked so hard, both on the front lines and behind the scenes. Our achievements in 2008 continued to owe much to the concerted efforts of the Board members, our dedicated management team and staff at all levels. I heartily thank every one of them for their valuable contribution to the Group.”
TRANSPORT INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LIMITED
2009 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Press Conference following TIH's 2009 Annual General Meeting
(21 May 2009)