On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to present to you Eastern Holdings Ltds (the Company and together with its subsidiaries, the Group) Annual Report for the financial year ended 31 March 2014.
Key Financial Highlights
I am pleased to report profit after tax and minority interest (PATMI) for the financial year of $23.0 million as compared to $2.3 million last year.
For the financial year ended 31 March 2014 (the FY 2014), the Group posted revenue of $26.6 million, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $23.9 million, and an increase in PATMI to $23.0 million from $2.3 million in FY 2013. PATMI of $23.0 million in FY 2014 was substantially higher compared to FY 2013, attributed mainly to gains on disposal of investment properties in Singapore totaling $19.3 million as compared to $3.2 million in FY 2013, and a one-time accounting gain on reversal of a write-down of a development property of $3.4 million.
The Board is pleased to recommend a first and final tax exempt dividend of 0.5 cents per share for the FY 2014. Subject to shareholders approval at the Annual General Meeting of the Company to be held on 30 July 2014, the first and final dividend will be paid on 14 August 2014.
Business Overview and Strategy
Our focus on rental yield coupled with potential capital gains in the property sector has served us well. Our aim is to strengthen our quality boutique residential property development market segment in Singapore as well as our mixed development market segment overseas. Our growth plan comprises securing real estate in Singapore and overseas with good rental yield and/or capital appreciation potential, and other suitable business opportunities.
Our Grove Residence project comprising semi-detached houses at 81 and 83 Grove Drive, Singapore is progressing well. Our ongoing marketing initiative has further increased occupancy rate of our self-storage business SelfStore at EPL Building, 1100 Lower Delta Road, Singapore, resulting in continual growth from strength to strength.
We are in the midst of launching
new business initiatives by expanding our self-storage business at Bryton House, 12 Hoy Fatt Road, Singapore.
We continue to seek to capitalise on new media opportunities in Asia.
We continue to maintain our presence in the media sector by organising exhibitions in Singapore and participating in exhibitions overseas. Our Motherhood Exhibition, Parenthood Fair and hospital distribution services are well received in Singapore. We focus on serving our media stakeholders well by offering relevant content, meeting changing market demands to enhance our circulation and attractiveness of our titles to advertisers and consumers.
We continuously strive to enhance our net worth by optimising our corporate processes, human resources, organisational structure, and ongoing business development initiatives. With our track record in both the property and media sectors, our efficient structure and our fortitude that embodies the core of our strategy, I am confident that by holding on to these values and our chosen strategic path, the Group will be able to meet challenges in becoming respected in the property and the media sectors for many more years to come.
In accordance with our growth plan, we seek to secure suitable real estate and media opportunities. With a view to enhancing shareholders value,
we will continue to adopt a cautious approach towards containing costs and pursuing new business opportunities.
In recent times, the economic landscape has been increasingly unpredictable and the effects of the successive cooling measures in Singapore continue
to weigh on the property market.
We are cautiously optimistic as the global economy continues its recovery. Accordingly, it is even more imperative for the Group to build up cash reserves to enhance our ability to compete and to take advantage of suitable
new opportunities in Singapore and offshore markets at any time. We remain focused on achieving our goals, striving to meet evolving market demands and seeking ways to improve performance.
Please join me in welcoming Mr Lum Kum Kuen, who has an in-depth knowledge of the Group, having been with the Group since May 2011,
as the Companys Executive Director.
On behalf of the Board and management, we would like to record our sincere appreciation to all our customers, business associates, suppliers, staffs and shareholders for their commitment, invaluable contributions and steadfast support.
Stephen Tay Thian Boon
Eastern Holdings Ltd
Chairman and Group Managing Director