ComfortDelGro’s net profit takes a hit from private-hire rivals

ComfortDelGro’s net profit takes a hit from private-hire rivals

File photo of ComfortDelGro taxis.

SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, said on Friday (Nov 10) that its third-quarter net profit fell 8.2 per cent to S$80.1 million, on the back of fierce competition from private-hire rivals. 

Group revenue decreased 2.4 per cent year-on-year to S$991.4 million in the three months ended September, ComfortDelGro said in a stock exchange filing after trading closed.

ComfortDelGro is facing intense competition from third-party apps such as Uber and Grab, for both passengers and cab drivers.

Grab in September made an aggressive move to poach drivers away from ComfortDelGro, by offering what it called "huge rental discounts” to drivers who jumped ship.

This came after ComfortDelGro announced in August a potential collaboration with Uber “in relation to management of fleet vehicles and booking software solutions in Singapore”.

ComfortDelGro Managing Director and Group CEO Yang Ban Seng said: “The operating environment has been difficult. Although the public transport services business continued to grow, the taxi business has seen strong competition. But we are in this business for the long haul and we will continue to look at sustainable strategies through strategic alliances.”

Among the group’s businesses, revenue for the taxi business fell the most at 11.2 per cent while that for the inspection and testing services business dipped 2.2 per cent due to lower business volumes.

On the bright side, revenue for the public transport services business increased by 4.5 per cent from growth.

Going forward, ComfortDelGro said it expects the taxi business to continue to suffer.

“Revenue from the taxi business is expected to be lower as the operating environment continues to be challenging with the substantial increase in private hire vehicles,” ComfortDelGro said in its statement.

Source: CNA/aj