Reuters reports that Singapore-based vehicle distributor Cycle & Carriage Ltd (C&C) has achieved a 20 percent rise in 2001 net profit to S$120 million ($65.68 million). Its Indonesian auto assembly associate – PT Astra International – managed a substantial rise in contribution to boost C&C’s 2001 profitability.

C&C’s share price has surged to a 21-month high this week as the market’s unease over its exposure to Indonesian vehicle assembly unit Astra International has subsided.

The Reuters report says that excluding exceptional items, C&C reported a four percent slide in net profit to S$166 million due to a significant decline from its core motor distribution business.

C&C is a retailer and distributor of multiple auto brands in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

Earnings per share were 51.1 cents compared with 42.9 cents in 2000. The company declared a dividend of 12 cents per share.

Astra, in which C&C acquired a major stake in 2000, contributed S$106.1 million in operating profit. Astra reported a net profit of 888.17 billion rupiah ($87 million) for the first 11 months of 2001.

C&C said in a statement that PT Astra should show a steady trading performance, but its overall contribution will be dependent on the continuance of the current low interest rates and the rupiah exchange rate.