Mr Neo Cheow Hui
Mr Chen Yong Hua
2014 was a challenging year for GKE, coupled with increasing inflationary cost pressures and difficulties with manpower recruitment. Despite the challenging environment, the Group recorded an 18% increase in revenue as compared to last financial year which is generated through its newly acquired warehouses in Singapore.
The Group has completed the acquisition of the 2 local warehouses located at No. 6 Pioneer Walk and No. 39 Benoi Road. Our three-storey warehouse at Shanghai, Yangshan has also been fully constructed. With the majority of our expansion plans completed, the Group now owns a total land area of approximately 1,200,000 square foot and a total built-in area of approximately 1,150,000 square foot. Once the operations of the new warehouses have been stabilized, the Group's performance is expected to improve.
During the year, our Singapore warehouses have also achieved an Enhanced Band under the TradeFirst assessment by the Singapore Customs in recognition of our partnership with Singapore Customs to make trade easy, fair and secure. Our transportation division has also expanded their fleet size in order to fulfil market demand accordingly.
As announced subsequent to the financial year end, the Group has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Wuzhou Xing Jian Ready-mix Co., Ltd (梧 州 市 星 建 混 凝 土 有 限 公 司), has on 25 July 2014 successfully tendered for a piece of land at Wuzhou City, China. The Land has an area of approximately 29,640 square meters and will be used for the construction of a cement mixing plant which will be producing and manufacturing cement products. Together with the existing investment in the Group associate company, Maoming City Hung Ji Construction Materials Co., Ltd (茂名市宏基建材 有限公司) which owns and operates a factory in 茂 名市 produces and manufactures cement products. Our plants are strategically located near upcoming developments within the Wuzhou city and Maoming city, and are poised to develop as one of the leading cement suppliers in these provinces.
GKE, through its joint venture, Steadfast (HK) Co., Ltd, has entered into a shipbuilding contract to construct an 83,000 CBM gas carrier vessel. The vessel is designed for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is a natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease of storage or transport. With Singapore developing its LNG capabilities, our vessel which is due to be completed by year 2016 should be able to tap onto the growing market by then.
Our focus remains on our core business, the third party logistics segment in Singapore, and we believe that our vision to be one of the leading integrated solution provider will materialise in future with ample asset and capability support from our acquisitions over the year.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I sincerely acknowledge the contribution made by all my fellow Directors and staff of their dedicated services to the Company. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to all customers, vendors, business partners, bankers and shareholders for the continued support throughout the year.
GKE will be experiencing exciting years ahead and we look forward to everyone's support as we strive to bring the Group to the next level of growth.