YBM DATO’ HAJI TENGKU HASSAN BIN TENGKU OMAR
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh dan Salam Sejahtera.
Dear Esteemed Shareholders,
I am honoured to present the Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements of Golden Pharos Berhad (GPB or the Group) for the financial year ended 31 December 2022 (FY2022) on behalf of the Board of Directors.
EXPANDING ECONOMIC AND SOCIETAL PROGRESS
Despite the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have persevered and managed to achieve exceptional results in FY2022, one of the Group’s most successful years in the past decade. The ongoing global health crisis and internal workflow complexities have presented significant operational and logistical challenges, including supply chain disruptions, reduced consumer demand in some markets, and restrictions on mobility and travel, which caused labour shortages for our Glass Manufacturing arm.
Nonetheless, through proactive risk management and strategic business plans, we have maintained a high level of performance to achieve profitability for another year.
In addition to the challenges presented by the pandemic, the macroeconomic landscape has also posed significant obstacles to our operations. Factors such as fluctuating commodity prices, changes in trade and regulatory policies, and volatile currency markets have all had an impact on our business. However, our rigorous financial management practices and agile decision-making have enabled us to navigate these challenges and emerge a stronger and more profitable enterprise.
Despite these headwinds, our impressive financial results speak volumes of our resilience and determination. Our ability to generate consistent revenue growth, maintain healthy margins and deliver strong shareholder returns is a testament to our robust business model and the dedication of our talented team. We remain committed to ongoing innovation, operational excellence, and strategic partnerships to drive success continuously in the years to come.
The timber business has been the primary driver of the Group’s exceptional performance. The segment has obtained significantly higher margins by tendering out forest compartments in response to challenging weather conditions and a shortage of logging contractors. However, this was merely a temporary measure to navigate the obstacles at that time, and we are resolute in our commitment to ensuring a steady supply of logs for our midstream sawmilling and downstream wood production divisions.
In recognition of our improved financial position, the Board recommends a final dividend of 1.25 sen per share, in addition to the interim dividend of 1.30 sen per share declared at the close of the financial year. The total dividend of 2.55 sen per share issued or RM3.89 million declared for FY2022 (FY2021: RM1.37 million) is the highest since FY2008, subject to the approval by shareholders at the 36th Annual General Meeting on 15 June 2023. The generous dividends reflect GPB’s responsibility to contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery in Terengganu, given that our largest shareholder is the State investment arm, Terengganu Incorporated Sdn Bhd (Terengganu Inc). Furthermore, the dividend payout is intended to support the socioeconomic well-being of our other shareholders, particularly retail investors, in their efforts to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
GROWING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
As achieving sustainable goals for positive outcomes is a journey, we have made significant strides to embed sustainability principles across our entire Group since FY2018. Moving beyond tracking performance, we are directly addressing our impact on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) spheres. We recognise the importance of Growing a Sustainable Future, and as such we are revamping our sustainability reporting to provide deeper insights into areas where we can increase value creation while reducing adverse effects.
In FY2022, we extended our quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to Scope 3, which encompasses indirect emissions from sources across our entire value chain, after consolidating data gathering and conversion to carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) for Scope 1 (direct emissions from sources under our control) and Scope 2 (direct emissions from purchased electricity). This will allow us to identify the hotspots where we can further reduce our carbon footprint.
As part of our broader scope of reporting, we took bold moves to address potential risks in ESG areas to improve work efficiency and productivity. These include implementing a cloud-based platform to optimise and reduce energy use, apart from digitalising work processes and mitigating cyber threats. We are also undertaking exploratory research to allocate forest concession compartments to tap into the potential of the carbon offset market. In the social realm, we are identifying and developing suitable community education and empowerment programmes linked to our core business.
DRIVING PERFORMANCE THROUGH PEOPLE
In response to the ongoing challenges of sustaining business and ESG performance, we strongly emphasise human capital development. With the potential for unforeseen events that can disrupt operations, we understand the need to upskill our employees to ensure business continuity. To address the evolving talent landscape, particularly among millennials who prioritise flexibility and mobility, we have implemented a comprehensive succession planning process.
Our focus on talent development is evident in our prioritisation of training for senior and middle management personnel as well as grooming and retaining top talent, especially in a competitive gig economy. We believe that leadership qualities and competencies are essential for sustaining GPB’s growth momentum in the years to come.
Additionally, we have made significant efforts to resolve the labour shortage that adversely affected our wood and glass manufacturing activities in the past two years. Through effective recruitment and training programmes, our subsidiary companies now have an adequate complement of skilled workers who can operate at full and increased capacity if required. We remain committed to investing in our human capital to achieve our business objectives and maintain our competitive edge.
On behalf of the Board, Syabas to Dr Mohd Zaki Hamzah, our newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as of 1 February 2022. His astute leadership has been instrumental in leading the Group to achieve exceptional performance for the financial year under review.
Moreover, I commend the unwavering support of our Senior Management Team in overcoming obstacles and finding solutions to various issues that could have disrupted or at least impeded our achievements for the year. The teamwork and hard work displayed by all other employees were exemplary, and their contribution was vital to our success.
In addition, I would like to express our appreciation to our shareholders, notably Terengganu Inc, for their continued trust in our stewardship of GPB. Our gratitude also extends to other stakeholders, including Federal and State authorities, bankers, contractors, suppliers and vendors, the media fraternity, and community members, for their support and cooperation.
I am grateful to my fellow Board members and the members of the Executive Committee (EXCO) for their valuable counsel and stewardship. Since establishing the EXCO on 5 September 2022, we have witnessed a notable improvement in both the operational and financial performance of the Group. Together, we have capitalised on the Group’s growth momentum to achieve commendable operational and financial performance, and we remain committed to leveraging this momentum to realise even more outstanding accomplishments in the future.
Thank you and wassalam.
YBM DATO’ HAJI TENGKU HASSAN BIN TENGKU OMAR