POSTAL services group Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost) is looking to a better second quarter after reporting lower Q1 profit against the previous year due to the impact of the SARS outbreak and a slowdown in the local economy.
We expect business sentiments and consumer confidence to improve and our mail volume to grow with increased business activities, chief executive William Tan Soo Hock said in a statement. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect our second quarter results to be better than the first quarter.
For the April-June quarter, SingPost's net profit fell to S$23.66mil from S$26.77mil a year ago. Operating revenue fell 3.7% to S$89.01mil as gains in logistics and philatelic revenues failed to offset lower mail traffic.
Tan said the company was confident it would be able to recommend a net dividend totalling S$80mil for the financial year to March 31, 2004, as it had stated earlier.
SingPost was listed recently following its S$684mil initial public offer (IPO) in May, Singapores largest share offering so far this year. Ahead of the IPO, SingPost had paid S$400mil in dividends to parent Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, whose stake fell to 40% from 67% after the flotation. Reuters
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