Thursday, February 2, 2012

SMRT Numbers Game

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that SMRT has awarded contracts worth about $600 million comprising:
  • additional NEL trains - S$234.9 million
  • additional CCL trains - $134 million
  • re-signalling of the NSEWL - $195 million
  • signalling of Tuas West Extension - $40.3 million
The SMRT revenue for the three months to Dec 31 2011 alone is $268.2 million, which means the projected income for a whole year is likely $1.07 billion or more (FY2011 revenue was $969.7 million). Easily pays for the long overdue equipment purchases to address the current operational shortcomings. Assuming the assets are depreciated over 10 years, it will cost them only $60 million a year.  According to Lui Tuck Yew's LTA logic, it appears that SMRT only operates the trains, so the bill is not even picked up by them. However, the depreciation charges will come in handy for net profit calculations.

Another intriguing number to note is that the operating expenses posted for same quarter ending Dec 31 is $227.7 million, of which repairs and maintenance expenses amount only to a pathetic $20.9 million.  Which suggests that the hardware is hardly given top priority by the management in charge. The SMRT 2010 annual report shows similar figures, $79.2 million for the whole year for repairs and maintenance, or about $20 million per quarter. No wonder the trains are breaking down.

The EBITA margin was 32.5% for FY2011, the corresponding net profit margin being 16.6%. Huge juicy profits made from the long suffering commuters who have no alternative public transportation system to turn to.

The employee statistic tells another interesting story: number of employees went from 6,102 in FY2002 to 6,565 in FY2011, about 7% growth over 9 years. But "Staff and related costs" jumped from $184m in FY2002 to $313.6m in FY2011, a jaw-dropping difference of more than 70%. Obviously some people there are getting awfully rich. Make no mistake though, this is not the Melbourne-based bus company who paid out millions in bonuses to its staff for loyalty after owner Ken Grenda profited from selling the family business.


  1. 70% increase in staff compensation --- most of it went to the CEO and her ex-SAF ass-licking colonels as well as the cronies in Temasek.

    With the additional new trains and updating of signalling systems, all paid for by taxpayers' money --- prepare for yet another 10% fare increase in 2012. The new CEO and old cronies will continue to be very happy.

  2. We would like SMRT to come clean and tell us what are the real expenses and profit. Mind you, they do not build the MRT tracks and tunnels. These are from tax-payers' money and yet we have no clue as how the money is spent. Where is transparency?

    1. Come on wake up! You are living in Singapore. Ruled by PAP. There is no such thing as transparency. You'll probably get some transparency when PAP is voted out if they have not made the records disappeared. Outgoing governments have a tendency to do that. No reason to make it easy for the next guy.

  3. Thanks for making a good snap shot that point clearly what is smrt 's priority is to ake money only !

    Keep taking snap shot please, till hopefully we see the light of day !

  4. "Where is transparency?"

    Keep voting in more Opposition Members of Parliament.
    This is the only way forward for more transparency.

    40% votes = 6 Opposition Member of Parliament
    80% votes = 12 Opposition MPs

    So don't worry about freak election results.
    There won't be any because of gerrymandering.

    1. Hahaha.. I like your logic. Please pass it on to every blog and forum :)

  5. This is a gem of information that few people know; number of staff goes down; & staff & related costs shoots to the sky.Please do more Sherlock Holmes investigation.Its great work u have done!

  6. Big increase in staff but maintenance doesn't keep up with the extension of the line to more places, makes me wonder where have all the costs gone to besides fuel charges?

    Being a public transport user, I'm helpless. Only can pray they have learned the lessons and realized their mistakes.

    Just Feel No Confidence In Them But Still Have To Rely On Public Transport. Just Try Not To Rely Too Much On SMRT

  7. SMRT commented a few days ago that the number of commuters did not decrease (despite the "mishaps"). My view is that these commuters have NO CHOICE! Bus services were removed once the MRT line was in operation, current taxi fares too high + ERP charges, COE too high to buy a new/used car....

    In some companies,the management usually pay themselves first as they think they are indispensable. If the lower rank staff ask for increment, they will tell him "THE DOOR is always Open" (for him to get out!).

  8. This is a classic example of either SMRT Management does not know its ground or it just simply bluff its way to fool commuters. Of course, its ridership will not fall. It is a sure win for SMRT since there are no viable alternate mode of transport. Those who drive will not take MRT and the rest either take bus, MRT or taxi to work. They expect people to walk after the "mishaps"?

  9. Do we really need to pay such a high salary for a CEO to operate a monopoly?

  10. I feel even more depressed after reading your post today, I think it is a great post and I fully agree more people should know the kind of shenanigans going on at public listed cum govt-linked companies. On the other hand, I don't really want to know how much money SMRT is making because just last night, I had to pull out $10 to top up my EZ Link card - from my last two $10 notes in my entire savings! Seriously. It was either that or spend hours walking home. Nowadays, the card value goes down so darn quickly.

  11. Anonymous Feb 2, 2012 03:27 AM
    "I had to pull out $10 to top up my EZ Link card - from my last two $10 notes in my entire savings!"

    But PM Lee says "If you're poor in Singapore, it's no fun, but I think you're less badly off than in any other country in the world, including in the US,"

    Nothing much will improve. PAPies and their cronies will continue collecting multi-million dollar salaries. Until the time when 60% of people reach the state of the above Anon. By then most of the original Anon will have died or starved or jump Bedok Reservoir already.

    1. Keep voting Opposition.

      Good things will eventually happen.
      Like getting back our CPF money at age 55 years old.

  12. it is also no fun to middle income as PAP WILL SQUEEZE US from eVery direction.WITH billions of dollars for SMRT and PUB SPENDING we are in deep shit WE WILL RESPONSE after 4 years

  13. In Sept 2010, Goh Chok Tong publily stated that it would cost $1 billion to uograde the train signalling systems. Now SMRT spokesman says it costs just $195 million!!!

    Who is lying???

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