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Email This Print This Chairman's Statement

Extracted from Annual Report 2015


Dear Shareholder,
The Boustead Group has endured its fair share of trying years and it has never impeded us from pursuing the opportunities that lay inherent within our six divisions. This year was no exception as we weathered another difficult year, emerging with a profit before tax of RM269 million from our key business concerns.

Economic Landscape

Decelerating from 2.6% in 2014 to 2.4%, global growth once again fell shortin 2015. The poor growth has been associated with continued growth lag in emerging and developing economies, weaker capital flows as well as subdued global trade.

It was certainly a year of challenges which included the rapid slump in Brent crude oil prices which negatively impacted crude palm oil prices, the dramatic slowdown of the Chinese economy and the weakening of the Ringgit against the USD.

Despite the challenging economic environment, Malaysia recorded a sizable GDP growth of 5% in 2015 mainly due to sustained private consumption and growth in critical domestic sectors.

Financial Performance

Faced with depressed economic conditions both domestically and globally, the Group delivered a profit after tax of RM139 million. Net assets per share was RM5.56 whilst shareholders' funds stood at RM5.8 billion as at 31 December 2015.

Dividend

The Group declared a fourth interim dividend of 4 sen. This will bring total dividend for the year to 20 sen, representing a 4.7% yield based on the closing price for the fiscal year.

Human Capital

The world today is increasingly global and talent mobility puts enormous pressure especially on developing nations like Malaysia, to identify, attract, develop and more importantly, retain talent.

To compete with more developed nations, we must place greater emphasis on building leadership skills and providing our workforce with not just jobs but career opportunities. Only with a strong talent pool can we aspire to reach developed nation status.

In supporting the nation's aspirations, the Boustead Group's human capital strategy is premised on our strong performance culture. We continue to encourage the growth of our workforce through talent development programmes and employee engagement initiatives.

Outlook

While a modest recovery was seen in major high-income countries in 2015, growth forecasts for these nations in 2016 have been marked down given the appreciation of the United States Dollar and the impact slowing trade in Asia is expected to have on Japan.

Despite rising geopolitical concerns and soft external demand, the Eurozone is expected to see subtle recovery. A gradual slowdown and rebalancing in China is expected, together with the stabilisation of commodity prices and a steady increase in global interest rates.

Growth for the Malaysian economy is expected to be supported by domestic demand. However, in 2016, the economy is predicted to continue to face a challenging operating environment.

To overcome this, the government's 2016 recalibrated National Budget focuses on strengthening domestic resilience in order to enable us to benefit from the recovery of the global economy.

Most importantly, we will redouble our efforts to deliver value and fulfil our objectives to achieve another successful year.


Acknowledgement

As we close the books on a challenging year, I would like to thank my fellow Board members for the depth of knowledge and insight they bring to the table. My utmost gratitude also for the diligence demonstrated by our management and staff.

We are appreciative of the confidence placed in us by our major shareholder, Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera.

To our shareholders, financiers, business associates, consultants and regulatory authorities, we are thankful for your steadfast support.

GEN. TAN SRI DATO' MOHD GHAZALI HJ. CHE MAT (R)
Chairman
1 March 2016

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