JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE LIMITED
INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
Jardine Cycle & Carriage ("JC&C" or "the Group") today issues its Interim Management Statement for the third quarter of 2020.
In the first nine months of 2020, the Group's businesses were all impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trading conditions were challenging, as both business and consumer sentiment were affected by the pandemic and the measures taken to control it. The Group's performance continues to be affected by these conditions, although there was some improvement in a number of the Group's businesses in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.
Astra reported a 49% decline in net earnings per share in the period compared with the same period last year, with weaker performances in particular from its automotive, heavy equipment and mining, and financial services divisions, which all continued to be impacted by the pandemic and related containment measures in Indonesia. Third quarter earnings were, however, higher than in the second quarter, driven by automotive and agribusiness, but performance remained under pressure across most segments.
The Group's Direct Motor Interests continued to be impacted by the pandemic. In Singapore, Cycle & Carriage saw a resumption in sales activities but year-to-date performance was down compared to the previous year. Cycle & Carriage Bintang in Malaysia reported a lower nine- month sales volume compared to 2019, despite higher unit sales in the third quarter following a government sales tax exemption. Tunas Ridean reported lower profits across all its operations.
In Other Strategic Interests, the performance of THACO's automotive business was adversely impacted during the second quarter but it recovered during the third quarter and is now performing well. The performance of REE was moderately lower, while that of Vinamilk was stable. Siam City Cement's results were ahead of the same period in 2019 as a result of cost saving measures, which more than offset softer demand and lower prices.
The Group's results were also impacted by translation losses on its foreign currency loans.
The Group expects that the pandemic and measures to contain it will continue to have an adverse impact on its performance for the remainder of the year.