Keppel Corporation Limited has released its voluntary business update for 3Q & 9M 2021. Net profit for the first nine months of 2021 was a sharp reversal from the net loss registered a year ago, with all segments performing better year on year. Even excluding revaluations, major impairments and divestments in both years, net profit for 9M 2021 was also a significant improvement year-on-year. The Company’s net profit for 3Q 2021 also grew strongly compared to a year ago, with all segments registering improved performance.
The Group’s revenue was S$5,510 million for 9M 2021, which was 14% higher than S$4,818 million a year ago, underpinned by higher revenue contributions across all four key segments. The Group’s net gearing was lower at 0.76x as at 30 September 2021, compared to 0.85x as at 30 June 2021, mainly due to proceeds from asset monetization and the issuance of perpetual securities, which were offset by the payment of 2021’s interim dividend.
Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation, said, “Keppel’s business units have performed well. As a Group, we have recorded sharp improvements in earnings for 9M 2021 not only when compared to 2020, but even to pre-COVID 2019, excluding revaluations, impairments and divestments across periods.
“We have also made bold strides forward on our Vision 2030 roadmap since it was unveiled in late-May last year, and are confident of achieving most of our targets by 2025. To date, we have announced about S$2.4 billion in asset monetization, received about S$1.6 billion of this in cash, and are on track to exceed our S$5 billion target by the end of 2023. The substantial capital unlocked from our asset monetization programme would allow us to fuel Keppel’s organic and inorganic growth plans, especially in areas such as renewables and decarbonization solutions, and also reward shareholders for their continued confidence in the Company despite the challenging macroenvironment.”
Keppel also updated that discussions on the proposed combination of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) and Sembcorp Marine, and the establishment of Asset Co were progressing steadily. On the back of rising oil price, the jackup rig market is showing signs of improvement. With utilization rates improving, Keppel O&M has also been receiving more enquiries on bareboat charters for its rig assets.
In 3Q 2021, Keppel announced the proposed acquisition of SPH ex-media. The requisite approvals have been obtained from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board for the proposed SPH ex-media transaction, which is now pending Keppel and SPH shareholders’ approvals for the transaction, court approval for the scheme and the completion of SPH’s media divestment exercise. Both Keppel’s and SPH’s shareholder meetings to seek approval for the proposed transaction are expected in November 2021.
Reflecting its commitment to sustainability, Keppel had announced earlier this month its commitment to halve the Group’s Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, compared to 2020 levels, and achieve net zero by 2050. The Group also laid out a climate action roadmap to achieve its carbon emissions reduction goals and contribute to global decarbonisation efforts.