Group Lease reported net profit of Bt289.54 million for 2018 after using the year to strengthen its legal and financial position to prepare for 2019, the company said in a press release on Friday.
Alain Dufes, Chief Financial Officer of Group Lease PLC, said: “The Company earned Bt289.54 million in 2018 - a reversal from last year in which the company lost Bt1.60 billion. Revenue was effectively flat, reducing by Bt5 million or 0.2 per cent compared to 2017 while service and administration expenses increased by Bt134 million or 11.7 per cent excluding special allowances.
“Our profitable result included more than Bt86 million in legal expense and a Bt53 million Withholding Tax write-off. Also our result was negatively affected by foreign exchange rates as the profit from each foreign subsidiary was reduced by the strong THB.”
Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease PLC, said: “2018 was a challenging year in which we were responding to events from 2017. In this year, we restated our 2017 financials per the SEC order, responded to lawsuits against us and filed lawsuits back to defend our shareholders, focused on improving our operations, and through all of that we recorded a profitable year.
“Operationally, we noticed our performance could be improved and began to take action. We changed our credit criteria again to make it stricter and changed to a more conservative provision policy in anticipation of IFRS 9. We expect these changes now will help our result in 2019 and beyond.
“Even though in 2018 we focused much of our attention on non-business issues, we were still able to make every country grow except Cambodia, which we purposefully reduced as we promised last year. Now that our regulatory and legal position is much stronger, we will focus even more on growing and improving our businesses.
“Unluckily for us, the strong THB worked against us in every one of our currencies this year, including USD. We don’t expect that to always happen and if the THB stops strengthening, we could see even stronger growth from our subsidiaries. We are very confident about the business and our opportunities and we expect 2019 to be a great year for us.”