I am pleased to present the financial report to the shareholders that we have achieved profitability despite challenging conditions in the economies that we operate in, and despite losses incurred in our Australian subsidiary. Our attempt to dispose of the subsidiary was not successful as the deal was terminated. Management will continue to put in efforts to try to turn around the operations, and will proactively manage our operating costs as well as managing the inventory levels in Australia
The purchase of Ban Leong shares by Mr Wang Wei, was completed in this financial year. As he has established businesses in PR China, where his business interests are also in the distribution of IT products in PR China, the Group will be exploring potential collaboration opportunities, especially in negotiating for better terms with suppliers and principals.
The cautious approach in our dealings in the South East Asia markets have paid off, and through the determination of the team, we are able to generate a higher revenue for most of these markets.
The IT distribution industry has gone through many changes and some consolidation has already taken place. We remained resilient and through the years of building up the business, we envisaged that there will be more opportunities to sign up more brands and products in the near future. We also target to explore newer markets, including PR China, where online sales are prevalent and the IT gadgets sales continue to record higher revenue.
We hope to leverage on the extended network of our business partners, shareholders and our staff in expanding our distribution strength over the next few years, and also explore new opportunities in the growing markets.
This will be our 11th consecutive year of paying dividends to our shareholders whom have been most supportive. The Board has recommended a dividend payout of 1.0 cent per share, which is similar to our last year’s dividend payout. This would make a cumulative payout of 13.2 cents since 2005. This dividend payout would represent a yield of approximately 5% at S$0.20 per share.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Meals on Wheels program continues through the year as we work closely with Touch community services. In August 2015, we joined the Frost the Trail 2015 Corporate Challenge Charity Run as one of their Platinum donors. Ban Leong also participated in the Willing Hearts program where we helped out at their soup kitchen. We prepared food ingredients, packed food and delivered them to the under privileged elderly. In March 2016, we volunteered at All Saints Home located at Hougang, engaging and interacting with the residents. We sang and played games with the elderly. Ban Leong endeavors to continue these activities as part of our ongoing corporate social responsibility.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank all our shareholders, whether substantial or minority, for their support in our company, and I believe one of the ways to reward shareholders is a consistent dividend payout. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our principals/suppliers, our loyal customers, our supportive bankers, the professional partners and our business associates. Last but not least, thank you to the dedicated Ban Leong Team, whom have made sacrifices and put in the extra efforts in this challenging financial year. Thank You!