HONG KONG – (ACN Newswire) – According to South China Morning Post, in announcing its annual results for 2018, Legend Holdings Corporation, the parent company of Chinese PC and smartphone maker Lenovo, has two reasons to be noticed.
First, is an impressive set of results that confirm consistent revenue growth from a diverse range of businesses that are clear evidence of successful investment strategies.
The other is that this year marks the company’s 35th anniversary, a good opportunity not just to reflect on the journey to date, but to look forward with confidence to the next exciting chapter.
“In 2018, there were certain challenges in the external environment, but through the vigorous efforts of the management team we achieved our strategic goals and made a number of breakthroughs in terms of overall performance,” says Liu Chuanzhi, chairman of Legend Holdings. “This allowed us to safeguard the healthy growth of the company.”
The main strategic investments are grouped together in five key areas: information technology; financial services, innovative consumption and services, agriculture and food, and advanced manufacturing and professional services.
In addition, there are major financial investments that enable us to find synergies and develop new opportunities using what we refer to in-house as our “two-wheel-drive” business model that balances strategic investments with financial ones.
Thanks to this, the company realised total revenue of 358.920 billion yuan (HK$418.21 billion) for full-year 2018, representing a 13 per cent increase when compared with the previous year.
Notable highlights were 330.78 billion yuan revenue from IT, a 10 per cent increase on the corresponding period in 2017. Financial services booked revenue of 6.962 billion yuan, a 91 per cent rise from the previous 12 months. Meanwhile, agriculture and food revenue jumped 161 per cent from a year earlier to 12.94 billion yuan.
The net profit attributable to equity holders amounted to 4.36 billion yuan, a decrease of 14 per cent from the previous year-end figures. This change was caused in large part by a slide in the net profit contribution from our financial investments segment, which itself was the result of a decrease in the fair value of the financial assets invested.
However, that was offset to a certain extent by the increased profitability of Lenovo’s intelligent devices group and growth in the data centre business, as well as by an increased profit contribution from the acquisition of Banque Internationale a Luxembourg SA, which was completed last July.
Legend now views the bank as a pillar asset, and the deal marked the first time a mainland-based non-financial enterprise had acquired such an important institution supervised by the European Central Bank. The general plan now is to make the acquired bank more intelligent in the IT sense and more international in scope to enhance its core competitive advantages.
Another stand-out event in the past year saw Legend Holdings become the first pilot enterprise for the “H-Share Full Circulation Project”. That meant relevant domestic shares in China were converted to H-shares and listed accordingly in Hong Kong. In the broader context, this is seen as an important step in China’s capital market reforms, besides giving a boost to the company’s own business development.
Taking everything into account, Liu and the board of directors believe that the achievements of 2018 represent a “brilliant outcome” and that the overall prospects look bright.
“By using our ‘capital + experience’ model, we will be able to incubate more outstanding enterprises and maximise returns for shareholders and benefits for society at large,” Liu says.
“[Forward planning] and persistence have been two of our key corporate strengths over the past 35 years. The company keeps its finger on the pulse and has been actively revamping its strategies to achieve new targets and precise objectives.”
Because of that, all the operating businesses in the five sectors achieved growth, and all five sectors were profitable in the same year for the first time.
Most noteworthy was the turnaround in IT services, which went from a loss of 670 million yuan in 2017 to a net profit of 3.787billion yuan in 2018, with the help of a 10 per cent increase in revenue to 330.78 billion.
The financial services segment grew continuously, its revenue up to 6.962 billion yuan representing an increase of 91-per cent year-on-year with net profits attributable to parent company coming in at 2.567 billion yuan, or 56 per cent growth year-on-year. The innovative consumption and services segment also reversed losses incurred from the previous year.
Elsewhere, within the agriculture and food segment, our fruit business benefited from the rapid expansion of the upmarket retail industry in China. And the revenue of the advanced manufacturing and professional services segment received a particular boost from subsidiaries producing polymer materials and special chemicals and handling aviation logistics.
“In 2019, our strategic investment will focus on three aspects, including: fundamentally strengthening the capability in post-investment management and services, effectively promoting capital operation, and giving full play to the advantages of two-wheel drive, for the purpose of creating new profit pillars.” said Mr. Zhu Linan, president of Legend Holdings.