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Extracted from Annual Report 2017


Creating a competitive, open and engaging workplace

Dear Shareholder,
The year 2017 has been an outstanding one for the Boustead Group. Amidst heightened competition and headwinds faced by the markets in which our Companies and brands operate, we ROse above these challenges to deliver a record profit before tax of RM1.1 billion.

On this note, I am glad to present to you our Annual Report for the financial year ended 31 December 2017.

Economic Landscape

The domestic economy saw steady growth in 2017 at 5.9%. Improvements in labour conditions and wage growth fuelled private consumption and domestic demand, even as Malaysia's commodity exports recorded an increase.

Our nation's strengthening economy was very much due to our stable political environment and a Government that is focused on ensuring that businesses thrive. Globally, political developments and policy changes, particularly in major developed economies, led to uncertainties in the investment climate which had further reverberations across the international landscape.

Financial Performance

Your Group delivered exceptional results, with all six Divisions contributing positively to the bottom line. Profit after tax leaped to RM923 million compared with RM589 million last year. This was primarily achieved on the back of gains realised from the disposal of plantation land. The Plantation Division was a key contributor in 2017, delivering record high earnings to the Group.

Earnings per share ended at 22.8 sen, and net assets per share was RM2.92. Shareholders' funds stood at RM5.9 billion for the year ended 31 December 2017.

Dividend

Over the years, your Group has consistently held true to our commitment to reward our shareholders with positive yields. This year, we continued to deliver upon this promise as we announced a fourth interim dividend of 2.5 sen per share.

In total, dividends for the year was 11 sen per share, representing a dividend yield of 3.8% based on the closing price for the financial year. To date, dividends totalling 8.5 sen have been paid out to shareholders. The remaining 2.5 sen will be paid on 29 March 2018 to shareholders on the register as at 15 March 2018.

Human Capital

In an increasingly digital era where information is easily exchanged at the click of a button, it is clear that we must be able to innovate and adapt to new ideas in order to retain a pole position in the market. In this regard, our talent pool remains our greatest asset, one that needs to be carefully nurtured in order to continue to flourish.

As such, Boustead Group is focused on creating a competitive, open and engaging workplace environment. Our core values provide common ground at every level as we attract, develop and retain talent. Through a myriad of programmes, activities and other initiatives, we have sought to develop the leadership capabilities and skills-set of our employees.

Sustainability

Alongside our commitments to our shareholders, we are equally dedicated towards our sustainability efforts in the Economic, Environment and Social categories. As one of the leading conglomerates in the nation, we wholeheartedly believe that it is incumbent upon us to set the example in integrating sustainability across all Divisions and into every aspect of our operations.

The Group is heartened to note that our efforts have had a positive impact, not only in terms of creating more sustainable practices for how we do business, but also in fostering a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship within the communities in which we operate.

We are pleased to provide a holistic update on the Group’s sustainability efforts for the year in our Sustainability Report.

Outlook

By all indications, Malaysia's growth momentum is set to continue in the coming year, underpinned once again by domestic demand and private consumption. The Government's move to reduce income tax for mid-range income groups will lead to households benefiting from higher disposable income, which is expected to further support this domestic growth trend.

The global economy is expected to see a more balanced outlook in the year ahead. This too will likely have positive spillover to the Malaysian economy, as investments as well as the commodities sector look to be on the rise.

On the whole, the market outlook for 2018 is a favourable one. Combined with the growth strategies that are in place, along with the strength of our talent pool, we are confident that the Group is well-positioned to capitalise on new opportunities and overcome any challenges that may lie ahead.

Acknowledgement

Our Board members have been invaluable in providing unparalleled leadership, expertise and insight as they guided the Group to greater heights. Similarly, our management and staff have demonstrated tenacity and drive in forging the Group's path toward success.

I would also like to express my appreciation to our major shareholder, Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, for continuing to lend Boustead Group your utmost trust and confidence. As always, we are deeply grateful to our shareholders, financiers, business associates, consultants and the regulatory authorities for their ongoing support.

GEN. TAN SRI DATO' MOHD GHAZALI HJ. CHE MAT (R)
Chairman
5 March 2018

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