Chairman’s Message

Cortina Watch Chairman Mr Anthony Lim

DELIGHTING OUR CUSTOMERS

OUR POSITION IN THE INDUSTRY IS A RESULT OF THE COLLECTIVE PASSION, FORESIGHT AND DILIGENCE OF OUR PEOPLE

Against the backdrop of an uncertain economic environment, Cortina Holdings Limited (“the Group”) achieved sustained growth for the financial year ended 31 March 2020 (“FY2020”), turning in an outstanding performance driven by proactive stock management, good sales mix and higher sales margins.

During the year in review, global growth was muted in the face of trade and geopolitical uncertainties as well as the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, Singapore’s economic growth softened to 0.7% amidst trade tensions. Notwithstanding this, we persisted in delivering strong results in FY2020. The Group’s financial performance was largely unaffected by the coronavirus situation which only impacted certain markets in March 2020. In light of this,
we continued to achieve growth, while maintaining our dedication to operational excellence and delivering long-term shareholder value.

DELIVERING GROWTH

Building on our solid business fundamentals, the Group grew from strength to strength. Total revenue rose to a record S$513.8 million during the year in review, representing an uptick of 11.5% over the previous financial year. In line with this expansion, net profit surged 35.5% to reach a new high of S$41.7 million, compared to S$30.8 million the year before. Our sales margin climbed to 27.2%, compared to 25.3% in FY2019, stemming from the price resilience of our products and sustained demand for our luxury timepieces.

In tandem with the higher revenue and profit, the Group generated net operating cash inflow of S$31.7 million in FY2020. Meanwhile, net asset value per share rose to 140.0 cents, up from 120.4 cents in FY2019, and earnings per share registered an increase to 23.7 cents against 17.5 cents in the previous financial year.

DRIVING STAKEHOLDER VALUE

In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a delay in our annual general meeting (AGM), the Board of Directors had declared and paid the first ever interim dividend of 4.0 cents in July 2020. This was aimed at ensuring the timely delivery of dividends to shareholders. In addition, a final tax-exempt cash dividend and a special tax-exempt cash dividend of 2.0 cents and 0.5 cents per ordinary share respectively have been proposed for the approval of shareholders at the next AGM to be held on 3 September 2020. This year’s total dividends − comprising an interim dividend, a final dividend and a special dividend − represent an 18.2% increase against the last financial year.

ENHANCING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

At Cortina Holdings, we uphold a prudent approach to strengthen our performance and spur value creation. We regularly assess the performance of our retail outlets and improve same-store sales while driving greater efficiency across our operations. During the year, we consolidated our outlets’ performance to conserve resources and manage operating costs. At the same time, we engaged in refurbishment works and completed the upgrade of our boutique at IMAGO Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in FY2020. Since then, this Malaysian outlet has continued to deliver strong results in line with expectations.

Over in Taiwan, we expanded our retail footprint to capture new opportunities in this market. During end-FY2020, we commenced renovation works on a new boutique at E Sky Land mall in Kaohsiung. Well-located amidst an affluent community, this new outlet is expected to showcase an extensive selection of exquisite timepieces and is projected to be officially unveiled in FY2021.

Expanding our presence in the digital world, we continued to strengthen our e-commerce platform, with the addition of several major brands during the year in review. Beyond complementing our brick and mortar stores, this platform brings our luxury timepieces to a wider customer base and heightens the Group’s competitiveness in the digital age. Alongside this, the financial year witnessed the introduction of video user manuals to enhance our customers’ experience with our watches. Besides enhancing the visibility of our brand name, this accessible e-manual allows us to engage with our customers digitally, while nurturing greater interest in our timepieces.

CHAMPIONING SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY

As a responsible corporate citizen, we recognise the importance of championing social sustainability. In line with our commitment to uplifting the lives of the communities we operate in, we made contributions to sports sponsorship and charitable organisations across Singapore. These included our donations to a charity dinner by Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited and The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, which raised funds for the Community Chest and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund respectively. On the sporting front, we supported the Volleyball Association of Singapore and continued our annual sponsorship of the triathlon team, New Moon Khcycle. Our sustainability efforts in FY2020 are outlined in our Sustainability Report, which underscores our dedication to transparency and accountability as we strive to integrate sustainable practices throughout our operations.

OUTLOOK

On the macro-economic front, global growth is projected to decelerate in 2020.
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank forecast a contraction in the world economy owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is anticipated to hamper economic activity, dampen consumer demand and impact tourism and supply chains.

We remain steadfast amidst the volatile economic environment, anchored in the vast experience of our management team and our deep expertise in the luxury watch business. Since inception, Cortina Holdings has demonstrated resilience, having successfully weathered numerous business cycles, ranging from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak to the 2008 financial crisis, each time emerging stronger than before.

Today, with our strong cash flow, robust balance sheet and debt-light position, the Group is well-placed to weather the challenges ahead. Prudent capital management remains a core element of our strategy, enabling us to deliver consistent returns, while providing us with the financial flexibility to capitalise on market opportunities and expand our regional footprint.

APPRECIATION

I would like to express my gratitude to our stakeholders for their contributions to the Group’s stellar performance in FY2020. My heartfelt thanks go to the Board of Directors for their wise counsel in propelling the Group forward. I am also appreciative of our partners, shareholders, management and staff for their unwavering support and trust in us throughout the past year.

Leveraging our solid fundamentals and forward-looking approach, we will continue striving to augment our competitiveness, while upholding our commitment of generating sustainable value for our shareholders.

LIM KEEN BAN, ANTHONY
Chairman & CEO