JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE LIMITED
INTERIM MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
Jardine Cycle & Carriage ("JC&C" or "the Group") today issues its Interim Management Statement for the first quarter of 2020.
The Group experienced challenging trading conditions in the first quarter as conditions began to deteriorate across its markets due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 and the measures to contain it on the Group's businesses have increased significantly in April, with effective lockdowns and social distancing measures resulting in temporary closures of many of the Group's businesses. Both business and consumer sentiment are expected to remain weak for some time and the Group's performance in the current period will be significantly impacted.
In each of the Group's businesses, debt levels and liquidity positions are being carefully monitored and steps are being taken to mitigate both operational and financial risks. A range of actions are also being taken to manage costs and preserve cash, including reducing capital expenditure and managing working capital.
These are challenging times. We would like to express our gratitude to employees across the Group for their continuing hard work and dedication as we manage through the current environment while remaining focused on the Group's long-term prospects.
Looking at the performance of individual businesses, within Astra, despite solid performances in its automotive and financial services businesses, and a higher contribution from the group's agribusiness, overall performance declined in the first quarter of the year, largely due to lower coal prices and weakening consumer confidence. However, as the impact of COVID-19 has grown more severe and anti-pandemic measures have taken effect, the group has faced increasingly difficult conditions and its April performance has been adversely impacted. These conditions are likely to persist for some time.
In Singapore, Cycle & Carriage experienced lower sales due to a reduction in market size and weak consumer sentiment. Sales of Cycle & Carriage Bintang in Malaysia were similarly affected.
Tunas Ridean also faced challenging conditions, with lower profits across all its operations.
In Vietnam, THACO's automotive unit sales and margins, particularly in the passenger car segment, declined due to a fall in market volume as both business and consumer sentiment deteriorated in an already challenging and competitive market.
Siam City Cement's operations in Thailand and Vietnam were impacted by overall economic conditions in the first quarter and are also now further affected by COVID-19-related impacts. Vinamilk's operations are stable, with only moderate impact from the crisis so far.
The Group's results were also impacted by translation losses on its foreign currency loans.