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chairman's statement
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Extracted from Annual Report 2017


Mr Lo Pang Foo Steven

During the year in review, the Group delivered a stellar performance amidst a challenging environment marked by volatile financial markets, global political uncertainties and economic headwinds.

The financial year saw Group revenue rising by 18.7% to USD 283.19 million, which was above the USD 238.51 million recorded in FY2016. Meanwhile, group profit after tax increased to USD 20.43 million, representing a rise of 75.8% compared to USD 11.62 million last year. Driving this stronger performance were higher profit contributions from electronics manufacturing services bolstered by higher property sales.

Persisting with our efforts to maintain a robust financial position, the Group's cash and cash equivalents stood at USD 102.64 million as at 30 June 2017, which included PCI Limited's cash and bank balances of USD 39.93 million. This places us in a strong position to capitalise on market opportunities.

HIGHLIGHTS OF FY2017

While demand for properties in Perth dipped, we secured robust sales for our Concerto and Unison on Tenth projects, leaving us with residual stock of 55% and 12% respectively as at 30 June 2017.

During the year, the Group completed the acquisition of its investment in its associated company, Pacific Star Development Limited. Apart from enlarging our property investment portfolio, the acquisition helped to grow our regional presence through key development projects in Malaysia and Thailand.

DIVIDENDS

The Board is pleased to recommend a final tax exempt one-tier dividend of 1 SG cent per ordinary share and a special tax exempt onetier dividend of 2 SG cents per ordinary share for FY2017, amounting to SGD 27.85 million. This reflects a payout ratio of 113%, which is well above our declared 50% dividend policy.

SHARE BUY BACK

During the financial year, 1,759,600 shares were repurchased by the Company on the open market for USD 0.33 million. These repurchases were made under the Share Buy Back Mandate approved at the Extraordinary General Meeting on 20 October 2016, and serve as a cost-efficient mechanism to bolster shareholder value.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

As a responsible corporate citizen, we remain committed to enhancing the lives of the less fortunate within our community, and contributing to the well-being and education of our youth. During the year, we maintained our financial support of the Singapore Cancer Society, with the funds channelled towards various programmes, comprising public education and research, financial assistance schemes, welfare services, as well as rehabilitation, cancer support groups and hospice home care.

We also made contributions towards education, as part of our belief that all students should receive a holistic education regardless of their social background. We sponsored co-curricular activities and leadership programmes aimed at enhancing pupils' skills, resilience, teamwork, sportsmanship and commitment. Additionally, we supported a primary school with two awards – the Chuan Hup Holdings Milestone Award and the Chuan Hup Holdings Holistic Award – to recognise and reward students with academic and non-academic performance.

LOOKING AHEAD

Although global growth has shown signs of picking up, uncertainties remain on the international trade and geopolitical front that may impact financial markets. Additionally, the prospects of interest rate adjustments could affect the momentum of economic growth and weigh on investor sentiment. While property market demand in Australia is expected to remain soft in the face of supply pressures, our portfolio of quality and well-located residential developments are strategically positioned to meet the demands of the urban lifestyle market. Moving forward, our strong balance sheet stands us in good stead to seize strategic opportunities for future growth, while our prudent and disciplined approach will continue to drive value for our shareholders.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

On behalf of the Board, I extend my appreciation to Prof. Tan Cheng Han, who stepped down as Non-Executive, Independent Director and Chairman on 1 July 2017, for his guidance and outstanding service to the Board. At the same time, I would like to thank my fellow Directors for their invaluable counsel and contributions. My gratitude also goes out to the Management team and staff for their unwavering commitment and dedication. Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our business partners, shareholders and customers for their continued support and trust.

MR LO PANG FOO STEVEN

Non-Executive Chairman
7 September 2017

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