At the 2022 Annual General Meeting of Transport International Holdings Limited (“TIH”) held today (19 May 2022), the Group’s Chairman, Dr. Norman Leung Nai Pang, reported the financial results for 2021. For the year ended 31 December 2021, the Group’s profit attributable to equity shareholders was HK$245.0 million, a decrease of HK$1,659.1 million compared to 2020. The decline was mainly due to the one-off non-recurring net gain of HK$1,495.5 million in 2020.
The Board has recommended an ordinary final dividend of HK$0.50 per share to be paid on 30 June 2022. The total dividend for the year will be HK$0.50 per share. In addition, the Group will provide shareholders with a scrip dividend option for the final dividend. For details, please refer to the circular announced by the Group.
In 2021, The Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (“KMB”) recorded a profit after taxation of HK$101.4 million, representing a decrease of HK$101.9 million compared to 2020. Amid the stable COVID-19 epidemic situation in 2021, bus patronage rose by 14.6% compared to 2020.
As for Long Win Bus Company Limited (“LWB”), the loss after taxation for 2021 was HK$35.0 million, representing a decrease of HK$35.6 million compared to 2020. With strict border control measures still in effect amid virus worries, visitor arrivals and the number of departures showed no improvement. Passenger numbers of LWB were still far below pre-COVID-19 levels.
The Group’s Non-franchised Transport Division, with Sun Bus Limited (“Sun Bus”) as its flagship company, recorded a profit after taxation of HK$8.8 million, representing a decrease of HK$32.7 million compared to 2020. Our Transport Operations Division in Beijing and Shenzhen continued to record positive overall results in 2021.
Despite the challenging business environment, the Group continued to make unremitting efforts to provide a high-quality travelling experience for passengers. KMB launched numerous fare concession schemes, including Hong Kong’s second “Regional Short-haul Two-way Section Fare Scheme” in Tseung Kwan O, and LWB’s Bus-Bus Interchange Discount Scheme which was extended to cover Lantau Island South for the first time. LWB also commenced the second phase of bus route diversion arrangements in Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai with the commissioning of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Tunnel, bringing more favourable and convenient bus service to passengers.
With an aim to create sustainable long-term value for all stakeholders, TIH incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) concepts and values into its development strategies and operating philosophy. The 16 electric single-deck buses purchased by KMB have commenced service gradually. Furthermore, over 50 electric double-deckers will be in service early next year. TIH will purchase an additional 500 electric buses in the next three years, accounting for one-eighth of the current bus fleet maintained by KMB and LWB. To cope with the development of electric buses, KMB will install charging facilities at four major bus depots, about ten satellite depots and some bus termini of KMB to meet the electricity demand. KMB will also build two new electric bus depots in Tai Po and Tuen Mun, with completion expected in three to four years.
KMB has gradually been installing about 22,000 solar panels at bus depots and bus termini and on bus stop poles and bus roofs, which are expected to generate more than ten million kWh of renewable energy and reduce 5,400 tonnes of carbon emissions annually in Hong Kong.
KMB and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited signed a 5-year HK$500 million green loan in 2021, the first green finance arrangement of KMB.
Safety has always been the Group’s top priority. The KMB Academy (“the Academy”) was established in January this year with the motto “Mission Safety . Act with Self-discipline”. Both the “Certificate in Bus Maintenance” and the “Certificate in Public Bus (Franchised) Driving” offered by the Academy are accredited by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications at level two and level three respectively under the qualification framework in Hong Kong, making the Academy the first organisation providing professional training courses for bus captains and maintenance workers to receive the accreditation. The Group expects the KMB Academy to attract talents keens to serve the public.
Looking to the future, the bus industry is presented with profound challenges in the face of an expanding local railway network and surging international oil prices. The Group has made a timely response by taking multi-pronged measures to save costs and resources. We will continue to adopt a flexible approach in bus deployment to ensure business sustainability. We believe the development of residential areas in Kwu Tung North, Hung Shui Kiu, and Yuen Long South will bring new opportunities to the future growth of the Group.
The superstructure work at the How Ming Street site in Kwun Tong is expected to be completed in 2023. Preliminary marketing of grade-A office towers at the site has commenced, while a premium mall featuring a modern lifestyle is expected to be opened in 2024. As for the project at 1 Kin Fung Street, Tuen Mun, the redevelopment work to build an office and retail space for leasing is expected to be completed in 2025. Both projects will provide a steady return for our shareholders.
Dr. Leung concluded, “The epidemic has still plagued Hong Kong society over the past year. TIH has continued to serve the public in a consistent professional manner while the Group does its part in the territory-wide anti-pandemic campaign hinged on our staff members’ strong commitment to providing passengers with safe and quality bus services. I would like to express my sincere thanks to every member of the Group and our shareholders for their support.”