I have great pleasure to report that the Group has continued to deliver creditable financial results last year. Our revenue was ahead of plan, against a challenging backdrop given the global economic slowdown. Our Profit before Tax for second half of the year outperformed the first half, largely attributed to margin revisions from both projects handled by JEL and our subsidiaries. To align with the financial year end of IHI Corporation,there will be a change in the Company’s financial year end from 31 December to 31 March. Consequently, the current financial year will cover a period of 15 months from 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2017.
All our core businesses have established good presence in the global market. During the year, we commenced work for an EPC project in Mozambique, and were also engaged in the construction of a combined cycle power plant in Myanmar. Our Construction division fared well, as we took on several new projects in Thailand and Malaysia. The performance of our Maintenance business was exceptional as we achieved a new record in terms of sales and profit. As a core business, we expect it to grow and expand further. At the same time, we
will continue to leverage on the strong relationships with our business partners and actively seek opportunities to achieve sustainable growth.
I would like to thank the Management and Staff for their dedication and hardwork. Needless to say, they have contributed immensely to our sustained performance. My appreciation extends to all our business partners and customers for their trust and continued support.
Effectively, from 1 January 2017, there has been a transition in our Senior Management. Mr Koh Kew Sek has taken over as the Chief Operating Officer from Mr Tsai Chau Ching. Mr Koh has relinquished his role as Managing Director of Thai Jurong Engineering Limited to Mr Edwin Wong. On behalf of the Management, I would like to place on record our gratitude to Mr Tsai for his invaluable contribution. Under Mr Tsai’s leadership as Chief Operating Officer, JEL flourished and achieved new milestones in terms of new jobs secured, record revenue and profit. He played a pivotal role in charting the strategic directions of the Group, and the successful expansion of our geographical footprint of our core businesses. Mr Tsai will continue to play an active role as advisor to JEL. In every organisation, the smooth transition and development of talents are critical to the long term sustainable growth. In recognition, Mr Ramanathan Balasubramanian has been appointed an Executive Officer of JEL.
We have continued to gain traction in the initiatives implemented by the various departments and subsidiaries since the launch of the five-year “JEL Group Management Policies”. Particularly noteworthy are the furtherance of the Group’s integrated business model through various platforms including human resources, finance, risk management, technology, marketing and safety initiatives. People are our most important assets, and we have designed development and training programmes to support career growth, management succession and continuity. We remained strong financially, as we continued to support the expansion growth by providing the financial flexibility to access capital for our investment requirements as well as a sound financial framework to ensure we minimise our financial risks. To-date, new jobs are added to the slew of projects in our pipeline from all our core businesses, reflecting our marketing department’s resilience in the face of the economic slowdown and increasingly competitive landscape where we operate.
Cost containment strategies will be introduced to cushion the impact of the economic slowdown and the increased competition. As it will be difficult to predict the impact of the economic slowdown, the increased competition and future market trends, maintaining current sales and profitability will be a challenge. It is therefore the Management’s request that there must be a concerted effort by each and every employee at all levels of the JEL Group to realize and participate in the cost containment drive that will be introduced in stages. Potential for improvements to perform at a higher level to increase productivity should also be assessed and adopted.
Providing superior and comprehensive solutions to our customers worldwide should be our reference point, that we focus to deliver higher quality and safety standards in every project that we undertake. We strive to achieve zero accident at our workplaces, as we believe all incidents and injuries are preventable.
As we enter into a brand new year and although our financial year has not yet ended, may we all reflect on 2016 and ask ourselves whether we have achieved what we set out to do from the beginning of the year. Once we set our goals, do not lose sight and continue to grow unabated year to year. Consistent hardwork over time is something which we must not take for granted. I hope JEL will one day be a focal point for construction and engineering services in the markets we operate. Let me wish you and your family good health and a brighter new year.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer