Financial year ended 31 March 2018 marks a new beginning for our Group. Since our listing in 2005, we have gone through many challenges and some of which affected our profitability. I am extremely pleased to inform shareholders that we achieved record a pre-tax profits for the Financial Year ended 31 March 2018 of $$6.4million.
The efforts to strengthen our core competitive advantages in the competitive IT and consumer products industry have paid off nicely this year. Since the disposal of the Australian operations, we have focused on the core markets in South East Asia. The rising standards of living in these markets, coupled with the higher demand for technology products, in addition to our ability to secure more brands and product range and expansion of our sales channels in the corporate business segment have facilitated our successful positioning of the operations in these markets that resulted in our increase in revenue to S$158.6million.
We intend to continue to leveraging on our strengths and build meaningful relationships with our principals and expand our sales channels in the markets that we already have a presence. We expect the industry to continue to be very competitive and margins have to be managed across the right product mix to optimize our returns.
With the changes in the industry, more consumer products are IT related. We have adjusted well to the changing product mix and are able to deliver value to the consumers by bringing tech-savvy consumer household products with smart features. We have expanded our product range and we expect newer technological products from our existing principals and new suppliers. We expect the trend to continue and target to be one of the first in introducing such products to the markets where we have a strong presence.
Financially, we have managed our cash flow well, by monitoring closely on our inventories and receivables. As such, we are able to continue our practice and philosophy of sharing our earnings with our shareholders by recommending a final dividend payout of 1.25 cents
Our online platform sales have also seen some growth. Though this is still a small percentage of our overall turnover, we expect the younger generation to be doing more purchases via the online channel. We hope this service that we provide to our consumers will have better returns in the near future.
We are still exploring opportunities in PR China and Hong Kong, and would be keen to work with like-minded parties to expand our presence in these markets. In the next one to two years, we hope to be able to expand our presence to include these markets in a prudent manner.
Overall, the IT distribution industry will continue to change and evolve. The landscape is now significantly different from a few years ago. While we believe that the traditional sales channels have served the Group well, we remain vigilant to explore potential collaboration opportunities in bringing the best products to our customers. There will be uncertainties but we are hopeful that we will be able to leverage on our strengths and build up our distribution network further.
The Group had made an interim dividend payout of 0.5cent in Dec2017. In addition to that, the board has recommended a dividend payout of 1.25 cents per share, which would equate to a total payout of 1.75cents for this FY2018, much higher than the previous years’ payout of 1.0cent. I am pleased to say that this will be our 13th consecutive year of paying dividends to our shareholders, and an appreciation of our shareholders’ support.
The cumulative dividends payout would be 15.95 cents from 2005. The total dividend payout this financial year represents a yield of 7.4% based on the share price of S$0.235.
We reaffirm our commitment to sustainability by publishing our maiden sustainability report guided by the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) Standards: Core Option. We seek to provide insights into the way we do business, while highlighting our environmental, social, governance (“ESG”) and economic performance.
As a brand name in the distribution of technology products, we are committed to maintain a sound sustainability reporting framework to fulfil our social responsibility and safeguard the interest of our stakeholders.
We strive to be a responsible corporate citizen in wherever we operate in, and will play our part to ensure our full support to sustainability initiatives.
I am grateful for the trust and faith placed on us by our shareholders. Thank you!
On behalf of our Board of Directors, I would like to thank all our stakeholders in supporting us in all the ways that you could. Our suppliers, customers, bankers, professional parties and business associates, Thank you!
Many thanks to the loyal and dedicated Ban Leong Team!
And we look forward to better years ahead.