FHL Performance

On the other side, this situation gave the Group an important opportunity to differentiate itself from other companies and demonstrate how a strong corporate sustainability framework and strategy can benefit all its employees, shareholders and stakeholders. As we look on the immense economic hardships created by this crisis, our theme Striving Towards Excellence reflects our purpose to support and help all those who are connected to our sprawling diversified conglomerate in this tough times one way or the other. Our ability to support our stakeholders during this time has been underpinned by our sound financial position and commitment to the long-term sustainability of our corporate operations and strategy, as demonstrated by the investments we have made in our technology, our strong culture, and our attention to business continuity planning and the health and safety of our employees.

Group performance
The year under review was a challenging one as the group was challenged to survive in the tough business environment. The slow economic growth in the beginning of the year and impact of COVID-19 towards the later part of the financial year has put immense pressure on the group. The effects of COVID-19 was drastically felt across the group completely shutting down the tourism sector from March 2020. Rest of the business sectors also had strenuous time putting up with the performance.

Despite the unexpected challenges faced, FHL group total asset increased by 2.78%. Stringent cost control measures saw decrease in expenses to $279m from $285m reported in same period last year, favourable movement of 2.11%. The Group also experienced a healthy net cash flow at year end of $4.90m for the current period compared to overdraft balance of $8.91m to prior year. Group revenue stood at $291m, dropped by 11.98% to FY2019. It is important to note that South Sea Cruises operations were on halt from March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on movement thus contributing nil revenue to the group for 3 months. Construction sector, including Basic Group and Pacific Cement Limited also felt the brunt of the pandemic as major projects were on hold. Lockdown in greater parts of Lautoka and Suva areas also heavily contributed towards loss of revenue during the period under review. Loss of revenue to some extent was offsetted by RB Group which recorded revenue increase by $4.05m. This was mainly due to panic buying during the lockdown.

FHL Group net profit before tax stood at $11.10m compared to $45.44m for the same period last year, this was a decrease of 75.55%. The momentous downfall in reported profits was greatly attributed to performance by Basic Group, Pacific Cement Limited and Serendib Investment Limited. Fiji Television Limited, South Sea Cruises Limited and Merchant Finance Limited whilst not reporting losses did suffer a huge drop in its profits largely due to the impact of COVID-19. During the year, FHL Group paid more than $28m to Government as various taxes compared to $32m paid in the previous year.

FHL News Letter – April 2020

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