Revenue at HK$1,330 Million and Net Profit Up 171.4% to HK$115.8 Million — Expands Service Coverage in Greater China with Four Customer Service Centres Opened in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenyang in Early 2010
News Release – April 27, 2010
(Hong Kong, 27 April 2010) – Automated Systems Holdings Limited (“ASL” or “the Group”) (stock code: 771), a leading IT services provider in Hong Kong, announced its FY10 annual results for the year ended 31 March 2010. Revenue from the continuing operations for FY10 amounted to HK$1,330.0 million, down by HK$31.0 million or 2.3% against last year, excluding the discontinued operations which arose from the disposal of the Global Managed Service Business (“GMS business”) in August 2009. Net profit was HK$115.8 million, up 171.4% from last year, including the post-tax gain on disposal of the GMS business of HK$69.1 million. Basic earnings per share for the year under review were HK 37.65 cents (FY09: HK 14.36 cents).
The decrease in revenue was mainly attributed to the drop from products sales in the year. However, the Group was able to off-set the decrease in revenue by reducing direct costs and general expenses through effective cost control measures and increasing in profit during the year under review. For the fourth quarter in FY10, the Group’s profit before taxation from continuing operations was HK$28.8 million, increased by 84.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Profit before taxation from continuing operations for FY10 amounted to HK$53.6 million, up by 23.9% compared to FY09.
The Group continues to maintain a healthy balance sheet with net cash of approximately HK$280.0 million as at 31 March 2010. The Group’s order book balance carried a total value of approximately HK$575.3 million. No debt was recorded during the review year and the working capital ratio was 1.63:1.
Considering the special dividend of HK 92.0 cents paid during the year under review, together with the expansion opportunities through organic and inorganic growth, the Directors will not declare a final dividend for the year ended 31 March 2010. Having said the above, the long term interest of the shareholders of ASL will always be highly guarded by the Directors.
Mr. Lai Yam Ting, CEO of Automated Systems Holdings Limited, said, “As the worldwide economy has been progressively recovering, we are pleased to deliver steady and profitable performance this year. Apart from securing numerous sizable contracts from the Hong Kong SAR government during the year, we have continued to score significant wins for our IT infrastructure, solution and services business in FY10. We are working closely with Beijing Teamsun Technology Co, Ltd., (“Teamsun”) the Group’s controlling shareholder, to capture more business opportunities throughout the PRC by leveraging increased synergies of the two parties.”
Product sales and service revenue from continuing operations for FY10 was HK$814.0 million and HK$516.0 million, down by 4.8% and up by 2.0% respectively compared with FY09, contributing 61.2% and 38.8% to the total revenue from continuing operations respectively. Commercial and public sector sales in FY10 accounted for 46.4% and 53.6% to the revenue from continuing operations respectively, against 48.4% and 51.6% last year.
The Group has continued to expand in the Greater China region during FY10. Subsequent to the opening of the Shenzhen office in December 2009, the Group has expanded the financial services and insurance (“FSI”) sales team in January 2010 to capture IT demand of the FSI sector in the Greater China region. The Group’s expansion was further fueled by its stated strategy to promote cross-territories business. The Group was able to secure sizable contracts and broaden its clientele in the PRC market, including new PRC customers from various industry sectors as well as Hong Kong-based and overseas corporations with investment in the mainland, such as MTR Corporation (Shenzhen) Limited, Sainsbury’s Asia Shanghai Limited and 華娛廣告(深圳)有限公司. Through dedicated efforts aimed at penetrating the PRC market, the business showed progress with a revenue of HK$27.6 million during the year from continuing operations.
More synergies were created between the Group and Teamsun during the year under review. In December 2009, Teamsun and the Group together provided IT infrastructure including servers, software, storage and networking devices to a leading Hong Kong-based corporation for a core business application. In March 2010, Teamsun and the Group were awarded with a networking project from one of the largest independent banks in Hong Kong, after the successful million-plus renminbi project awarded by the same bank in October last year.
In order to cater for the rising IT demand resulting from the accelerated economic and financial cooperation between Hong Kong and Mainland, the Group has opened customer service centers in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenyang in early 2010. Together with the two offices in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, ASL will be able to provide clients with prompt quality services with expanded coverage in PRC.
While keeping an eye on business opportunities elsewhere in PRC, the Group’s focus remains on business prospects in the Pearl River Delta region. The newly signed Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/ Guangdong Co-operation which has been described as a key to the mainland door will enhance Hong Kong’s position as an international financial centre. It is intended to expedite Guangdong’s financial services development into an international financial hub with Hong Kong taking the lead with its financial systems, to be supported by resources and services in the Pearl River Delta cities. Favourable policies under the agreement encourage financial institutions to expand their presence in both Guangdong and Hong Kong through the renminbi cross-border trade settlement pilot scheme. A number of banks and eligible financial institutions supporting renminbi cross-border trade from the two places are expected to expand and cover more geographies and industries. Therefore, the Group’s expanded FSI sales team will actively explore the mounting opportunities in the Pearl River Delta region.
In addition, the Group is closely monitoring the stronger economic ties between Taiwan and Mainland China. The Group plans to expand its Taipei operation in anticipation of a rising IT demand from the increasing number of Taiwan corporations entering China and vice versa. This trend is expected to be driven by the Cross-strait Financial Supervisory Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) (兩岸金融監理合作瞭解備忘錄) and the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (“ECFA”).
Mr. Lai concluded, “Under the Territorial Termination Agreement and the Business Referral Termination Agreement, we are now free to pursue regional expansion in Asia supported by our solid foundations. We are continuing to promote cross-territories business with an aim to make Greater China our focal point of development.”
“Looking ahead, by creating more synergies with Teamsun and riding on its vast support network, huge business coverage, technical expertise and a well-developed vendor network, the Group can fuel its growth. In the meantime, we will maintain an effective cost structure and tighten our IT vendor relationship to enhance our services capability. We remain confident that we will become one of the leading IT services providers within the Greater China region.”
Appendix: Major Contracts and Tenders Secured by ASL in FY10:
Hong Kong Customers
Scope of Work
|A leading international bank||An approximately HK$10 million contract for the provision of enterprise servers with maintenance services|
|A leading Hong Kong-based airline||A multi-million dollar IT infrastructure project for the provision of new IBM POWER7 servers, various hardware and database upgrade services|
|Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority||An over HK$50 million contract for the provision of certain professional services, hardware and software for the development of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (“HKDSE”) Examination System|
|A government department||Enhancement on a Human Resources Management Information System|
|Hong Kong Housing Authority||Provision of 3-year Information Technology (IT) Development Services amounted over HK$40 million|
|Hospital Authority||A 36-month tender for the provision of Hardware Maintenance Services of NT Servers, Personal Computers, Printers and Related Peripherals (Category A), effective from 1 October 2009 and has an value of approximately HK$20 million|
|A government department||A multi-million dollar contract for the provision of maintenance and support services of a e-leave system|
Scope of Work
|MTR Corporation (Shenzhen) Limited||Provision of 6-month onsite helpdesk support for 300 users|
|Guangzhou Administration for Industry and Commerce Bureau Panyu Substation||Implementation of desktop virtualization solution with 3-year maintenance services|
|A premier destination resort||Supply of all desktop equipments for the gaming tables of a casino in a new premier resort with maintenance services|
|University of Macau||Provision of storage, switches and related software to boost operational efficiency|
|Bank for Agriculture And Agricultural Cooperatives||A multi-million dollar contract for the provision of 1,400 units of desktop computers and 650 units of printers|
|Ocean Glass Public Company Limited||Provision of desktop computers and notebooks|
|An information communications services company||Supply of enterprise server, storage hardware and backup software with 3-year maintenance services for the provision of secure e-service of a government department|
|Fu Jen Catholic University||Provision of network infrastructure devices to enhance network stability and servers for server virtualization|
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