Financial Highlights

REVENUE

  • Logistics 98.73%
  • Investments 1.12%
  • Leisure 0.15%

EBIT

  • Logistics 95.88%
  • Investments 5.59%
  • Leisure -1.47%

REVENUE

LKR 218,735 MN

112%

Gross Profit

LKR 38,431 MN

100%

EBIT

LKR 16,952 MN

2,205%

PBT

LKR 16,585 MN

5,821%

PAT

LKR 14,880 MN

3,498%

Chairman's Message

For the expo group, I believe the future Holds much promise. The group’s strong Foundations, solid strategy as well as the Resilience and agility of its business models, Which proved to be vital in bringing success This past year, will remain the key pivots In the group’s future growth trajectory as Well.

Chairman's Message

Dear Stakeholders,

It is with great pleasure and sense of honour that I present to you the annual report and financial statements of Expolanka Holdings PLC for the year ending 31st March 2021.

At the outset I would like to appreciate the hard work, effort and patience that was demonstrated by the leadership team and the entire work force, which enabled the group to rise against the challenges precipitated by the pandemic, to deliver the best ever outstanding results during the last financial year. This result is also a realisation and validation of our decision to adopt a growth based approach focused on our logistics sector, which has been the key driver of our business over the last several years.

Represented by EFL, The Logistics sector was the catalyst of the performance of the group. Thanks to our robust, steadfast and consistent strategies, EFL was able to perform exceptionally well producing a record breaking performance for the current financial year. Led by our North America operations, ably supported by our procurement functions, and with stellar contributions from each of our origins and all our other trade lanes, the entire EFL network banded together as one unified, global company in working tirelessly, enabling with a singular goal in mind to create value to all our stakeholders, including customers, partners, shareholders and employees alike.

EFL is essentially, a people business and our investments over the years to ensure we have the right people across our network in various roles and capacities, performing their responsibilities in the best and most efficient manner truly paid off this past year. I believe it was the strength of our people at EFL and our inherent dare to do spirit, that was the key driving force behind the success witnessed by the organisation during the year.

The Group’s Leisure sector meanwhile took a pragmatic approach and redirected its attention towards building for the future. "Classic", the Group's iconic leisure brand focused its effort to become more efficient, leaner and undertook key restructuring initiatives to improve its internal efficiencies to tap into opportunities that will open up in time to come. Meanwhile, it is also very pleasing to note that the Investment Sector made satisfactory progress despite pandemic related constraints.

Governance And Stewardship

Throughout 2020, as business across the Group responded to the economic impacts from COVID-19, the Board continued to drive strong corporate governance and sound risk management at all levels of operation. At the outset we identified two key priorities; the safety and well-being of our employees and offering uninterrupted serviceability to customers in line with the Group's values. To support and meet both objectives, our fully functional BCP plan was put into action at the onset of the 2-month island-wide lockdown in Sri Lanka. At the same time, we took several proactive measures for the safety of employees following all health guidelines and strictly implementing best practices as stipulated by various health authorities in each of our jurisdictions. To facilitate an efficient work from home environment and ensure the well-being of our staff, the Group implemented remote working protocols, introduced a help desk systems to continuously engage with our staff, and organised emergency relief to assist employees to adapt to the situation. We also created a dedicated task force to oversee the implementation of COVID safety measures to protect the health and safety of employees across all our offices around the world.

As a Board, we continued to work closely with our leadership teams around the world to assess the consequences from COVID-19 and how it may have impacted our business. While we made certain tactical adjustments as part of our initial pandemic response, we realised that there was no requirement to make any major alterations to our strategy. Our nimble, agile, customer-centric approach came to the fore and we were able to focus on the implementation of our core strategic initiatives.

As always the Group’s foundational values continued to underpin our commitment to doing business in the right way by acting lawfully and responsibly at all times. In fact, I believe it was the ideal time to showcase how the Expo Group lives up to its core values; "To always follow ethical business principles in transacting & managing business" "Caring for stakeholder’s interests", "Commitment to Excellence", "Innovation & Entrepreneurship".

Throughout this past year, the Board focused on reinforcing and sustaining this culture across the business in order to encourage sound decision making while managing risk and upholding business ethics. The Board remained in constant touch with the leadership teams around the world, actively participating in the decision making process and providing guidance and inspiration to teams during these challenging times.

The Expo Group Board has always ensured to maintain good governance practices and believe that it augments the group’s operations. Over the years we have estab-lished high corporate governance standards going beyond legal and regulatory frameworks and adopting with global best practices. As part of this commitment, the Expo Group's governance frameworks have been aligned to the rigorous governance standards of SG Holdings Global Pte Ltd - the Group’s Japan-based parent, in particular the stringent internal control mechanisms and financial reporting principles of Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. The principles of good governance and transparency outlined by these standards have further strengthened the Expo Group's credibility this past year.

Sustainability Best Practices

Although much of our attention was directed towards steering our business through the pandemic, we did not lose sight of our sustainability goals. Since we at Expo consider sustainability a natural component and extension of our business, we view it holistically and continue to embed it into our operational framework to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Our sustainability strategy encompasses a broad range of stakeholders including our business partners (customers & suppliers), our most vital asset which is our employees, the environment we operate in and the community. The sustainability strategies that we have adopted, cover each of the above areas.

As an organisation, we've made a commitment to enact green logistics to off-set carbon emissions and revive the planet. To realise this, we maintain constant stakeholder engagement, particularly our customers, in order to work together to prioritise sustainability and advance today's environmental and social needs. As a testament to these efforts, EFL was able to neutralise the carbon emissions of the shipments of its top 10 customers by undertaking to support a major renewable energy project in India. The project was undertaken, in lieu of World Zero Emissions Day 2020.

By aligning ourselves to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) a few years ago and having gained a deeper understanding on how the Expo Group as a whole can make a meaningful difference, we were keen to maintain our focus on contributing to the SDG’s that were most relevant in the current context. Further our commitment to the SDG’s, we continue to encourage greater stakeholder engagement and seek out partnerships to add value to our efforts. Each employee is encouraged to embrace passion projects and learn more about being more conscious each day in sustainable ways.

Through the ‘Global Goodness’ project initiated by the company, we encourage our employees to be more mindful of the impact they leave on the environment and to participate in projects to advance SDGs in each country.

I am also very glad that despite the pandemic, we were able to proceed to phase 2 of the Revive Bundala initiative under EFL Sri Lanka’s flagship, undertaking to replant and restore 600 acres of the Bundala forest reserve. Keen to ensure the project went ahead as planned, we mobilised the support of local communities to carry out planting. Almost 25,000 saplings were planted under phase 2. Combining both phases approximately 40,000 saplings, have been planted to date across approximately 100 acres of land.

Another key project launched under the Global Goodness initiative was the Play Pump Project in South Africa which aims to contribute towards SDG Goal 6. In the year under review, 6 more play pumps were restored across schools in the North Western Province in South Africa providing more than 2600 students and teachers and their local communities access to clean water.

Taking yet another major step towards advancing its sustainability agenda, EFL in 2020 committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) with the aim of setting science-based targets in line with the latest climate science to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. With this new commitment, we now have a clear baseline target to work towards in aiming to reduce emissions across EFL's global freight operations.

Outlook and Prospects

The pandemic situation has created a new normal operating environment, where it has become increasingly difficult to predict when trading and operations across the world will return to pre-pandemic levels. Nonetheless, having weathered the initial shock and lived in this pandemic environment for over a year, the world as a whole is now more informed and certainly better equipped to deal with what lies ahead. On that note, I feel we can be optimistic that 2021 will mark the tipping point where we will see tangible improvements with respect to economic recovery.

For the Expo Group, I believe the future holds much promise. The Group’s strong foundations, solid strategy as well as the resilience and agility of its business models, which proved to be vital in bringing success this past year, will remain the key pivots in the Group’s future growth trajectory as well. The Group will look to build on the success that was achieved during the past year and focus on accelerating our growth plans - firstly to grow more firmly in our existing markets and businesses, and secondly to expand into new geographies of strategic importance. At the same time we expect to, further invest into our brand and strengthen our off balance sheet factors, to facilitate our growth journey. Let me also reiterate that the Expo Group will maintain its holistic focus to ensure each of the businesses continue to deliver sustainable value to shareholders, while strengthening their identity as a socially and environmental responsible organisations.

Change in Directorate

Three Directors - Mr. Naosuke Kawasaki, Mr. Motonori Matsuzono and Mr. Yoshifumi Matsubara resigned from the board of Expolanka Holdings PLC with effect from 30th June 2020. While expressing my sincere appreciation to each of them for their support and commitment extended to the Group during their tenure on the Board, I take this opportunity to wish them well in their future endeavors.

I would also like to welcome Mr. Ha Yo and Mr. Akira Oyama, both who were elected to the Board with effect from 1st July 2021.

I myself was elected to the Board as the Expo Group Chairman with effect from 01st July 2020. Having observed from afar how the Group has progressed these past few years, I eagerly look forward being part of the Expo Group's future for I firmly believe, the best is yet to come.

Acknowledgements

My appreciation to the Expo Group Board of Directors for their insightful leadership always. On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank the leadership team of the organisation, and all employees of the Expo Group across our network for their hard work, resilience and commitment in helping the Group to achieve its best ever results despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I would like to conclude by expressing my grateful thanks to the Group’s shareholders for their ongoing support and to our customers for the opportunity to serve them. On behalf of the Board, I wish to assure you that the Expo Group will continue to strive to maintain your support and trust in the years ahead as well.

Mr. Hitoshi Kanahori Executive Chairman

Group CEO’s Review

The Strategy That We Adopted Has Enabled The Company To Transform Itself Into A Leading Player In The Global Logistics Sphere And These Results We See Today Are An Outcome Of The Culmination Of The Diligent, Hard Work And Efforts That Have Been Put In Over The Last Several Years.

Group CEO’s Review

Dear Stakeholders,

It has been a momentous and memorable year for the Expo Group. Demonstrating its true grit, determination, and a dare to do spirit the Group delivered outstanding results during the last financial year. This achievement is a realisation of our consistent, continuous strategy which we put into place in 2017 to grow EFL, our logistics business particularly in our core markets, where over the past three years, we have pursued a holistic and unified approach which enabled us to deepen our penetration in our focused operations. The strategy that we adopted has enabled the company to transform itself into a leading player in the global logistics sphere and these results we see today are an outcome of the culmination of the diligent, hard work and efforts that have been put in over the last several years.

Group Results

The Group posted a record revenue of Rs. 218.7Bn (YoY 112%) driven by the logistics sector. Guided by our proactive strategies on procurement & efficiencies, the Group was able to successfully navigate through challenging market conditions and deliver a Gross Profit of Rs. 38.4Bn (YoY 100%). The hallmark of our performance during the year was our constant attention to meeting customer demands, working closely with our partners, optimising our cash flows which enabled us to deliver a PAT of Rs. 14.8Bn.

BUSINESS REVEIW

Having made a quantum leap to expand beyond our roots as a subcontinent-based freight operator, our rapid global expansion over the past three years, has propelled EFL to the forefront of the global logistics arena. It is therefore with deep sense of accomplishment that I acknowledge that EFL is now recognised among the upper echelons of the logistics industry in the world.

That being said, I am confident that it was our continuous investments into building our organisational infrastructure by strengthening our global sales teams, consolidating and growing our network origins to enhance global visibility of our brand, refining our procurement strategy while developing the spirit of our employees, has given EFL an edge over competitors. A cohesive effort spanning the entire organisation, including dynamic strategies by origin stations to ensure service delivery to customers in the most efficient manner complemented the initiatives led by the sales and procurement teams. It is also very encouraging to see EFL benefiting from increased wallet share from several of its key customers. This I believe is a reflection of the close customer relationships built over the years as well as the steadfast commitment shown by EFL to support its customers to overcome the pandemic related constraints.

An indication of the continued progress of our business was reflected in the volumes generated during the last quarter of the year, where our overall volumes for the 4th quarter surpassed reported Q4 volumes in the previous financial year.

From a trade lane perspective, the US trade lane operation remained the most active during the period under review contributing a significant share of our overall business operation. Our persistent and relentless endeavor to grow this trade lane through investments that we had made in the past is well reflected in the results that we see today. Being well placed in this market also enabled us to move with relative ease to accelerate new customer acquisition strategies as well as to make steady progress in capturing new customers across various verticals.

Complementing on the above strengths, we also made a conscious effort to grow our Far East business, which saw established markets such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia surge ahead with strong growth and new markets such as Malaysia and Taiwan displaying positive momentum. I am also pleased to note that our traditionally strong Indian subcontinent market performed exceptionally well, a further reflection of our strategic attention.

Despite the pandemic environment, the European Trade lane made satisfactory progress, particularly with our traditional businesses. Initial investments into Denmark and Belgium performed creditably during this period. We have long term aspirations in growing this market, which we feel will be a critical component of success in the future. The Intra Asia trade lane operations were somewhat muted during the year, understandably so given the reduced trade flows within the region. Nonetheless, we are very optimistic on the prospects of trade within this region.

While remaining agile and flexible, and adjusting our business operations and business model to meet the challenges of global disruptions to supply chain and staying true to our customer centric approach, allowed EFL to seamlessly pivot to opportunities available in the market. Furthermore, we were also able to leverage our relationships built over the last several years with carrier networks. These relationships which we had developed overtime along with constant engagement, careful planning, collaborative efforts supported by a data driven approach enabled us to secure capacity efficiently and optimise our procurement costs in challenging conditions. Meanwhile, focused efforts to broad base the carrier networks paved the way for EFL to augment its customer offerings through more flexible, bespoke solutions to meet customer demands. The Ocean Freight market too remained very dynamic and was impacted by container shortages and port congestions resulting in relatively higher rates. Despite lower capacity and higher rates, here too EFL was able to tap into its long term carrier partnerships, supported by proactive procurement strategies, to maintain a healthy profitability during the year.

While efforts to pursue organic growth in key stronghold markets delivered excellent results and helped EFL to significantly improve its captive market share, we also capitalised on the opportunity to diversify into new verticals in order to drive revenue growth and boost profits. The decision to diversify into selected verticals, forms part of a broader portfolio expansion strategy that we initiated in 2017 with the aim of enhancing EFL’s industry presence across key business operations. Having already made some notable progress in the past, we were able to further accelerate our portfolio diversification strategy during the year owing to the reputation that EFL had built as a trusted, dependable forwarder and also the capability to service its customers efficiently inspite of the pandemic environment.

I am pleased to note that EFL was able to make sustained progress and gain a firm foothold in the Tech, Perishable, Pharma, Automobile verticals. EFL’s multi origin network in 29 countries across the globe, once again made all the difference in facilitating these efforts. At the same time, we were able to secure several bulk shipments of PPE cargo and medical supplies mainly from EFL’s origin stations in the Far East.

Another area that we focused on quite actively during this past year, was technology adoption to retrofit our front end customer interfaces to bring more end to end visibility to the customer and also standardise backend systems across the network. Determined to move ahead with our digital agenda as planned, we pushed through with the continued developments of our ERP platform across the network which was completed via a highly successful virtual roll out covering all EFL stations globally. With the infrastructure in place, EFL now has a solid foundation to provide a premier customer experience that includes integrated solutions coupled with increased visibility through the customers’ entire transaction journey with EFL from shipment quote to delivery.

This past year has brought out the very best in our people. I am especially proud of how our employees around the world worked tirelessly to ensure that our operations continue to function, even amidst pandemic related limitations. The spirit and determination shown by each and every employee is, I believe a true manifestation of what Expo Group stands for; our values; the dedication to excellence, the willingness to innovate and our commitment to uphold stakeholder interest.. This show of strength and resilience has made it clear that we are indeed “one team pursuing one dream”.

Even as we prioritise the expansion of EFL’s global operations, sustainability remains a key strategic element in our overall growth agenda. We consider sustainability as an extension of our business and as such strive to holistically embed sustainability concepts into our operational framework. To make this a reality, our sustainability strategy encompasses a broad range of stakeholders our business partners (customers & suppliers), our valued employees the environment we operate in and the community. Working closely with our stakeholders we aim to better align our goals to take cognizance of the key environmental and social issues we all are faced with. Taking a significant step to advance its sustainability footprint, EFL in 2020 made a commitment to implement green logistics to offset carbon emissions from its freight operations. We made good on this commitment in 2020 by supporting a renewable energy project in India which enabled us to neutralise carbon emissions pertaining to shipments of our top 10 customers.

I am encouraged by how well our leisure sector has navigated its way through a very challenging year for the industry. Taking a longer term perspective, the sector adopted a more holistic approach by realigning its service portfolio and reorganising itself in order to transition into a more efficient, and leaner organisation. The business continued to prioritise the needs of customers above all else and true to its innovative nature, developed several new services & travel solutions to meet the needs of the hour. Past investments in digital technology has without a doubt been a significant advantage in creating solutions geared towards travel during a pandemic environment. Not content with these measures alone, we also ventured into domestic tourism quite aggressively in the year under review. This was a timely move that delivered some very encouraging outcomes that helped Classic Travel to tide over the difficult times. The sector had to undertake certain resizing initiatives, which were undertaken in a streamlined and responsible manner to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders.

Our efforts to remain resilient in the face of the pandemic, were recognised publicly, with Classic Travel being awarded the Restart Resilience Award under the Service Sector Large Category at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020.

Our investment sector businesses reported a satisfactory performance for the year under review amidst mixed results from the export businesses. Our IT solutions business ITX 360 made significant progress to deliver an outstanding results for the FY 2020/21

I would also like to point out that the constant support and guidance given by our parent company gave us a lot of confidence to move forward fearlessly with vigor and precision. By being able to access funds in an efficient and effective manner to fund our growth initiatives, we were able to further strengthen the Group’s balance sheet.

Future Direction

All in all this past year has been remarkable in many ways. It has been a year of solid growth, where we saw the results of our sustained strategy over the past few years coming into fruition. The outstanding financial performance gives me reason to believe that the Investments and strategies adopted during the last several years along with our ability to demonstrate our strengths as a trusted, reliable and dependable logistics partner during the current year, has laid the foundation for the company to further expedite its growth initiatives into the future which will be holistically supported by Financial Capital, Human Capital and our strong technology platform. This gives me reason to be very excited for the future and growth of our Group in the future.

For EFL, the main focus in the next few years would be to firm up its presence across all its global stations and expand its footprint. In this regard, we expect to adopt a multipronged strategy to grow the customer base and increase captive market share. We expect our decision to move into the USA domestic logistics area will also give us the necessary leverage to position EFL as an end to end solution based supply Chain Company in North America. Going forward, we will also pursue several initiatives to grow our reach in the European market. EFL will look to leverage its strong brand presence, market acceptance and network operations to pursue potential opportunities in this market as it continues to recover. As always we will continue to work towards building on EFL’s stronghold markets in Asia, while keeping a keen eye on emerging opportunities that complement EFL’s strategic objectives. I expect our focus on digital technology adoption to also gather momentum as EFL strives to position itself as a key partner across all major global supply chain networks.

As Sri Lanka’s travel industry moves towards greater consolidation with smaller players exiting the market over the longer term, I believe it will open up opportunities for larger players to gain captive market share in the future. Classic Travels will continue to focus on maintaining the highest standards of customer service and build on its core strength of being the most reliable travel partner in the industry.

This is only the start of our journey, and I sincerely believe that the Expo Group has much more to achieve over the next several years as we surge ahead with our growth plans. We will continue on our growth journey focusing on developing our infrastructure, further strengthening our competencies, expanding into new markets, deploying our technology competencies, attracting the right resources across to the organisation, all with the aim of delivering strong, sustainable returns to all our stakeholders

Appreciations

At the onset, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Hitoshi Kanahori, our new Chairman and my fellow Board Members, Mr. Ha Yo and Mr. Akira Oyama. I would also like to place on record my sincere appreciation to Mr. Naosuke Kawasaki, Mr. Motonori Matsuzono and Mr. Yoshifumi Matsubara who resigned from the board with effect 30th June 2020. They were part of the board since 2014 who greatly assisted and supported our growth journey.

I like to thank the Board for their insight vision, and leadership to enable the Expo Group deliver its best ever performance to date in the midst of a pandemic

Let me also take this opportunity to thank all our leadership teams and our employees around the world who have worked tirelessly under difficult conditions with sincerity dedication and commitment. I am immensely proud of the way in which you have risen to the challenge to do what is needed to support your respective companies in these unprecedented circumstances.

I am equally grateful for the ongoing support received from our customers, business partners and shareholders. This past year has only served to strengthen our ties which I hope will pave the way for us to work together to meet our stakeholder commitments whilst always being cognizant of the environmental and social responsibility.

Mr. Hanif Yusoof Executive Director and Group CEO

Group Performance

Group Performance

2020/21 2019/20 Change
Revenue 218,735,345,230 103,245,670,749 112%
Gross Profit 38,430,917,038 19,182,682,746 100%
Overhead (21,930,301,748) (18,982,596,067) 16%
EBIT 16,952,207,484 735,423,582 2,205%
Finance Charges (367,260,544) (455,321,572) -19%
Profit/(Loss) for the year 14,880,018,747 (437,936,349) 3,498%
ROCE 33.31% 0.07%
ROE 54.35% -3.41%

Group Strategy

Pursuant to a comprehensive portfolio restructure exercise, Expolanka embarked on a growth based strategy firmly anchoring its business on two key units, Logistics & Leisure. The core emphasis on the strategy is aimed at creating value for all stakeholders.

The strategic approach adopted by the company was to expand its logistics business, represented by EFL by leveraging on its current infrastructure and capabilities. Broad basing its customer portfolio, focusing on its internal efficiencies, extending its service portfolio to operate as a fully-fledged supply chain solution company and enabling the operations through its digital platform.

This ambitious plan was initiated in 2017, which was aimed at broadening customer portfolio, expanding its operating verticals, and growing its Far East operation. The undiluted focus of the organisation was directed towards achieving the above objectives and the company in a short span of 3 years made significant inroads to achieving the stated objectives, resulting in a tectonic change in the organisation profile of the company. The investments made has paved the way for the exceptional results that has been seen by the company during the current year.

The realisation of the above initiatives was due to the unstinted support extended by the parent company in providing strategic guidance facilitating required funding in an effective manner, which enabled EFL to expedite the implementation and execution of these plans.

The company adopted a differentiation based approach to its leisure business, Classic Travel which grew from a Corporate Travel company over the last several years to a more comprehensive travel solution company offering a varied range of innovative, experiential travel solutions.

The focused, consistent and continuous strategic approach has enabled the organisation to deliver extremely successful results during the current year propelling EFL to be positioned as a leading Logistics company in the world. The global pandemic which disrupted operations indeed expedited delivery of some of the long term initiatives identified by the company, further crystalising the overall direction of the organisation.

Despite the changes taking in the market, the company will look to continue its strategic journey on the above strategic theme whilst adopting to market challenges, albeit much more strongly supported through its digital platform and offering.

Whilst the Group continues to focus on its core operations, attention will continue to be given to restructure its Investment sector with more clarity in direction and delivery

Group Strategy

Sustainability Strategy

The Expolanka Group sustainability strategy has been developed in line with the Group’s vision for the future and also taking into account the UN SDG expectations from corporates. On this basis, the Expo Group Sustainability Strategy seeks to ensure sustained and sustainable value creation for all stakeholders through greater accountability, not only towards financial growth, but also towards the environment and wider society. This vision is cascaded down to all Group companies and is operationalised at all locations through a framework of strategic drivers. Our core business and the largest economic entity within the Group - EFL plays a key role in the Group's sustainability strategy.

The sustainability focus for the year under review was to ensure the Group supports the needs of customers, employees, communities in the current pandemic environment while staying on course with the broader objectives of the SDG’s.

Sustainability Governance

An Integrated Sustainability Governance structure provides oversight for the execution of the Expo Group sustainability strategy in line with globally accepted best practices.

At the highest-level, the Chairman and Group CEO provide stewardship and guidance of the Group's sustainability policy and strategy while the Group sustainability and CSR team headed by the Global Lead - Sustainability who is tasked with implementing the Group’s corporate sustainability agenda at an operational level. As part of their duties the Group Sustainability and CSR team is also required to identify, assess and monitor emerging sustainability risks and opportunities that may have an impact on the Group over time, and advise the Group’s leadership regarding necessary actionable initiatives.

The team is further required to maintain a transparent reporting framework that provides stakeholders with information regarding the progress made in achieving sustainability goals.

Strategic Drivers


SECTORS | Logistics

Product Mix Highlights 2020/21 Strategy
  • Air Freight
  • Sea Freight
  • Logistics
  • Warehousing
  • Transportation
  • General Sales Agents (GSA)
  • Revenue growth achieved amidst dynamic market environment driven by return of organic business aided by elevated freight rates. Gradual growth in business aided by freight rates, which remained elevated due to supply demand capacity disruptions
  • Significant growth in North America Trade Lane with encouraging performances from the European markets
  • Flexible, nimble, agile approach, helped EFL to adapt to market challenges swiftly and adjusted business model and the operating model to meet market demands in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Proactive procurement plans and long term carrier partnerships enabled EFL to ensure capacity availability and maintain focus on yields.
  • Continued focus on Digital improvement enabled the company to complement its overall strategies of growth and efficiency.
  • Efficient working capital management and fund availability to ensure growth objectives of the company were met
  • Consolidating & Strengthening Trade Lanes
  • Broad-basing Customer Portfolio
  • Expanding Service Portfolio
  • Efficiency Improvement & Margin Management
  • Developing Network Infrastructure
  • Strategic Investments
  • Technology Adoption
  • Working Capital Management
  • Expanding Industry Presence
  • Further Growth and Strengthening of Key Strategic Origins
  • Leveraging Brand to Create Value to Business Partners
  • Establishing Specialised Resourcing Skills to Drive Growth Initiatives

Revenue

  • 250,000
  • 200,000
  • 150,000
  • 100,000
  • 50,000

EBIT & NP

  • 20,000
  • 18,000
  • 16,000
  • 14,000
  • 12,000
  • 10,000
  • 8,000
  • 6,000
  • 4,000
  • 2,000
  • 0
  • (2000)
  • EBIT
  • Profit for the Year

FREIGHT OPERATION

It was a year of outstanding results for EFL - The Expo Group’s global logistics business. A year in which EFL cemented its position as a leader in global supply chain services, providing innovative, flexible and efficient solutions to its customers. Driven by its continuous and consistent strategy and aided by its nimble and agile approach, the company was able to adapt to market conditions expeditiously, resulting in EFL, delivering an exceptional performance across its entire global network.

The logistics industry is viewed as an auxiliary for global trade and commerce and a key enabler in facilitating mobility throughout the global supply chain. Globally, 2020 will be long remembered as the year when the world tilted on its axis, throwing nations into chaos with factors such as fragmented supply chains, low capacity, labour shortages, muted economic activity and ambiguity with respect to the rules and regulations for mobility of goods, impacting global trade and the overall logistics industry. These unprecedented challenges required the logistics industry to adapt its operations to meet demand in new normal market conditions.

In 2020, the world economy experienced a global recession primarily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns. The negative economic growth was widespread affecting emerging, developing and mature markets alike. Whilst early signs of economic recovery have been emerging since the start of 2021, overall trade volumes continue to remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

Given the above backdrop, and at a time when the logistics industry around the world had to contend with a decline in global trade together with supply chain disruptions, EFL was able to successfully navigate its operations by focusing on its strategic roadmap enabling the company to make strong headway, first consolidating its operations, and subsequently further growing its customer base, backed by its strong relationships with existing customers and the flexibility to offer bespoke solutions.

EFL’s broad-based approach to tap into its core competencies including its experienced and efficient multi-origin footprint along with robust and well thought out procurement planning once again proved to be the critical success factors during these challenging times. Also instrumental in driving success for the year was EFL’s ability to maintain service delivery with at high standards, coupled with strong digital capabilities to facilitate fit-for-purpose solutions that support the evolving needs of customers. The synergies achieved through increased flexibility, reachability and overall customercentric approach too continued to provide EFL with a significant competitive edge over peers.

Another key catalyst in EFL’s success is the multi-pronged strategy to consistently reinforce core competencies. This year too, EFL’s strategy remained firmly anchored to these four pillars: customer diversity, procurement efficiency, operational excellence, and a technology-led operating experience. Equal emphasis to strengthen each strategic pillar and improve synergies paved the way for EFL to actively pursue growth targets even amidst tough market conditions that prevailed in 2020.

Efforts to expand captive market share continued in earnest throughout 2020. In this regard, EFL was quick to seize any available opportunities to move cargo from core offices in China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. Local expertise and strong network infrastructure in these markets proved to be a significant advantage for EFL to meet specific customer demands due to COVID related restrictions.

In particular, investments made in the past to develop a strong infrastructure footprint across all key global markets was one of the keys factor contributing to EFL’s success over the last year. EFL now has a network presence in 29 countries across the globe in a number of major trading hubs. This multi-origin footprint supported by dedicated staff spanning multiple nationalities who continued to work tirelessly in challenging conditions to assist commercial and procurement teams, also had a major role to play in driving success, in the year under review.

A concerted effort was also made to diversify into selected new verticals. While the apparel sector has long been the backbone of EFL’s freight business, the decision to diversify into selected verticals stems from a broader vertical expansion strategy aimed at growing EFL’s overall business. It was felt that accelerating the business diversification strategy would help consolidate EFL’s freight business in the short term and would also likely be a good starting point to improve scalability over time. Phase 1 of the diversification strategy which was launched in 2018 to focus predominantly on developing the tech and other verticals across the network,has delivered encouraging results, up until now.

In 2020, the apparel sector came under severe pressure on the back of global trade and supply chains disruptions caused by the pandemic. Amidst this backdrop, EFL took swift action to pivot itself towards opportunities available in the market. Backed by the solid foundation created by the North America strategy, EFL focused on cultivating relationships in the technology and pharma verticals and consistently onboarding new customers in these verticals. Recent investments to strengthen technology infrastructure and developing team competencies also provided EFL with a greater degree of flexibility and responsiveness to attract new customers. Further consolidating its operation and cementing its position in North America, EFL established its operation in Canada during the latter part of the financial year.

Through this move, EFL will look to leverage on its ground presence in Canada to operate both as a sales unit and an operating hub to service the entire EFL network.

As further evidence of EFL’s adoptability to market conditions, the company was able to optimise its brand awareness and work closely with various customers to meet emergency demand for essential medical equipment. The company was able to work in cohesion across its network to meet these time sensitive customer expectations effectively.

Meanwhile, with global trade patterns thrown into chaos due to the pandemic, the impact on the global freight market was unprecedented. The dynamics of the freight market changed dramatically as ocean and air freight operators had to adjust to market conditions as a result of lockdown restrictions in all key economies, coupled together with, cross border mobility restrictions etc. With this sudden loss of capacity causing a sharp escalation in air freight rates, EFL adopted a strategic approach to streamline procurements. Tapping into its long standing carrier partnerships and broad-based carrier network to improve visibility of pricing structures and strengthen the ocean freight offering, EFL continued to focus remain on its core internal operations of ensuring capacity availability in an efficient and optimum manner, with a customer centric service delivery approach, enabling the company to grow its operations during the year. Meanwhile, the emphasis on developing new carrier partnerships helped to expand supplier networks, allowing EFL to further strengthen its bandwidth through increased flexibility and agility to meet customer demands.

As an immediate response to the pandemic situation, a conscious decision was taken to scale back on some of EFL’s discretionary expenses, while pursuing operational efficiencies through the use of its digital platforms. Meanwhile in an effort to safeguard the Group balance sheet, a series of liquidity management initiatives were implemented. The support provided by SG Holdings (the parent Company of the Expo Group) also played a vital role in meeting short term liquidity requirements to enable EFL to fulfill its obligations and service customers. It also enabled the Group to service an unprecedented amount of charters during the year.

With the lockdown situation easing towards the second half of the year, EFL was able to see the gradual return of its core base business. Taking immediate action to capitalise on these opportunities, the Company moved to strengthen ties with existing customers. As a reflection of the above, EFL benefitted from increased wallet share from several of its key strategic customers who were very appreciative of the services provided by the company during tough times. Consequently the high volume variance seen at the start of the year gradually declined enabling EFL to generate consistent returns from Q2 onwards.

Technology development was also at the forefront of EFL’s overall strategy for the current financial year, with the main focus being to accelerate digital adoption in specific areas of the operation in order to standardise the services offered across the entire EFL network. Despite the challenges posed by COVID, a highly successful virtual rollout was carried out to complete the implementation of the ERP platform across all network stations. The new ERP platform now allows EFL to focus on integration, automation, visibility, transparency and efficiency to further augment its overall operating framework. Whilst continuing to make strong progress in relation to the further developing its capabilities within its Enterprise Platform, special emphasis was placed on integration to support increased customer visibility. Improving customer centricity was the key pivot influencing EFL’s digital journey during the year, where the goal was to develop solutions and technologies to improve interactions with customers through their entire transaction journey with EFL from shipment quote to delivery. During the year itself, EFL unveiled a number of key modules including; PO Management, Track & Trace Solutions, along with a special customer portal that offers end-to-end visibility. Technology platforms were also increasingly used to drive data-based decision making during the year, enabling the company to respond quickly and more effectively to market conditions and situations. The next phase would involve digitising key back end processes in order to improve efficiency and ensure that all EFL stations, regardless of their size, have the capability to offer the entire gamut of freight solutions.

To consolidate these achievements and create a cohesive framework for future growth, a focused brand building campaign was undertaken to bring visibility to EFL’s global network and assert the “EFL Global” brand as a noteworthy contender in the global freight domain. Brand building initiatives and a decision to move ahead with the planned ERP implementation, hand in hand, was carried out successfully.

EFL continued to evaluate and explore several non-organic growth opportunities as well. With a strategy to expand its service portfolio and strengthen its operations, EFL was able to make further inroads into the domestic logistics industry in the North American market with the acquisition of the Customs bond, CFS and Trucking Company - Seville. This Investment will enable EFL to provide additional services to its existing customers as well as use the facility and operation as a key tool to attract and develop further businesses along the North American Trade Lane.

Furthermore, continuing with initiatives to expand its Far East operation, EFL was able to incorporate a subsidiary in Thailand, which is also considered a key and strategic sourcing market for EFL.

3PL OPERATION

The 3PL operation delivered a strong performance for the year under review, thanks to the timely activation of Business Continuity Plans to overcome challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, technology based solutions offered to customers helped to augment the top-line, while the strong focus on operational efficiency was responsible for reducing the strain on the bottom line of the 3PL operation.

FINANCIAL RESULTS

The logistics sector was able to deliver a record financial performance for the year, with significant YoY growth visible across, Revenue, Gross Profit, EBIT and Profit after Tax.

Aided by the gradual growth in base business along with meeting emergency customer demands together with elevated freight rates, saw the sector deliver a revenue of Rs. 216.3Bn (+119%) which is by far the highest-ever revenue recorded by the sector in any financial year. The largest contribution to the above was delivered from its North America Trade Lane operation which has continued to be the main catalyst of EFL’s growth trajectory, these past few years. A sizable share of business and profitability during the year was derived from the Far East origins which is now operating on par with the traditionally strong subcontinent markets. Whilst the established markets such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia performed exceptionally well, new markets such as Malaysia and Taiwan too reported encouraging growth through the year. This performance is a clear testament to EFL’s strategic intent to aggressively grow its business operations since the 2017/18 Financial Year. Despite the challenges seen in Europe, EFL’s new operations in Denmark and Belgium performed reasonably well during the year, making gains in terms of customer portfolio and strengthening EFL’s brand presence in Europe.

A proactive procurement strategy together with an assertive sales platform enabled EFL to generate good returns even amidst some major shifts in market dynamics. Freight rates remained very aggressive during the year and has been at its highest level in recent history due to the severe capacity shortages which had arisen due to demand – supply imbalances. EFL was firstly able to ensure capacity was optimised and delivered to meet its demand requirements. In parallel EFL worked closely with all its carriers, origin stations and its sales teams to ensure that a unified cohesive approach was undertaken to ensure yields were optimised enabling EFL to record a Gross Profit of Rs. 38.1Bn (+113%).

Whilst the company continued to focus and make strong headway on its growth initiatives, the company also looked at its operations holistically to establish improvements in its overall operations. Emphasis was placed on optimising its cost structures during the year to ensure that the overall profitability remained at high levels. Whilst the initial stages of the pandemic necessitated certain cost reduction measures, the company continued to adopt a pragmatic approach to ensure cost structures were optimised. The company was able to optimise its technology platforms to aid in ensuring transaction related costs were kept at efficient levels thereby further strengthening the overall profitability of the company. As a result of the above, EFL was able to deliver a PAT of Rs. 15.6Bn (+5,460%) during the year, once again a record performance for the company.

FUTURE DIRECTION

The ability to deliver strong performance outcomes notwithstanding COVID challenges is a testament to the consistent strategy of the logistics business. On this basis, the focus going forward too will remain anchored to the four strategic pillars that have been the cornerstone of EFL’s recent growth driven success – customer centricity and diversity, procurement efficiency, operational excellence, and technology-led operating experience.

After bottoming out in the latter part of 2020, global economic activity is expected to rebound strongly towards end-2021 as countries around the world expedite their COVID-19 vaccine rollouts over the coming months. Whilst predictability continues to remain a challenge, markets continue to show gradual recovery which augurs well for EFL. The improvement and growth seen in US consumer spending, the gradual recovery and opening of European markets and the continued demand for production from origin markets are expected to further solidify EFL’s opportunities in the year ahead.

The immediate focus in the year ahead will be to consolidate the North America Trade Lane operation. Whilst continuing to gain traction by growing its customer base, the company will look to deepen its penetration by expanding its domestic logistics operation in the market with a view to strengthening its position as an end to end-to-end solutionbased supply chain company.

Europe being one of the largest consumer markets in the world with vibrant demand across several verticals, remains a key market which EFL will look to further expand into going forward. The trade lane which is now opening up after leaving behind the challenges of the past year, provides several opportunities for the company to further strengthen its foothold in the year ahead. EFL will look to leverage its strong brand presence, market acceptance and network operations to make further inroads into this market, with the aim of significantly increasing its contribution to EFL’s overall growth in the future.

Logistics 2020/21 2019/20 % Change
Revenue 216,516 98,732 119%
Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT) 17,520 726 2,313%
Finance Cost 246 332 -26%
Profit Before Tax 17,273 394 4,287%
Profit After Tax 15,568 (290) 5,460%
Total Assets 86,621 41,070 111%
Total Equity 31,959 15,646 104%
Total Debt 16,081 10,211 57%
Capital Employed 48,041 25,857 86%
Return on Equity 48.7% -1.9% 2,724%
Return on Capital Employed 32.9% 0.2% 20,157%

Turnover 99%

EBIT 96%

Capital Employed 89%

SECTORS | Leisure

Product Mix Highlights 2020/21 Strategy
  • Outbound Corporate Travel & Leisure
  • Inbound Leisure and Corporate Travel
  • Destination Management Services
  • Focusing on portfolio evaluation to ensure a scalable business model
  • Initiatives taken to right-size the future business model
  • Continuing to develop new innovative services and solutions to meet market demands
  • Optimising facilities available in challenging market conditions
  • Service Portfolio Enhancement
  • Retaining Market Leadership Position
  • Enhancing Value Added Services including Pandemic Related Services
  • New Customer Acquisition
  • Optimise End-To-End Serviceability
  • Specialisation In Identified High Growth Verticals
  • Technology Driven Service Mode

Revenue

  • 1,400
  • 1,200
  • 1,000
  • 800
  • 600
  • 400
  • 200
  • 0

EBIT & NP

  • 150
  • 100
  • 50
  • 0
  • (50)
  • (100)
  • (150)
  • (200)
  • (250)
  • (300)
  • EBIT
  • Profit for the Year

SECTOR REPORT

The leisure industry has been one of the industries which is most affected with the global pandemic, with reports indicating a significant drop in International Travel during the last year. Following drastic action by governments across the world to curb the spread of COVID-19, the global travel industry ground to a halt around March 2020, with no apparent signs of revival evident even by the end of the year. The year 2020 will therefore go down in history as one of the most challenging times for the global travel industry.

In Sri Lanka, the decision by the government to close the airport in March 2020 saw the local travel industry coming to a complete standstill, just as it was beginning to recover from the impact of the April 2019 Easter Sunday debacle.

Amidst this backdrop, Classic Travel which represents the Expo Group’s Leisure cluster and the premier travel company in Sri Lanka also came under severe stress. With the core revenue streams coming under pressure, Navigating through this, the company, showcased its resilience in mitigating these challenges keeping in mind the long term potential of the Industry by focusing on consolidation and strategic realignment,

Following extensive analysis of the existing business model, a broad based restructuring effort was undertaken to streamline the business mix and create a leaner and more agile organisation able to withstand the current challenges.

In the meantime, the company took quick steps to retain customer goodwill by maintaining a customer centric approach and remaining in close contact with customers. The company further looked to innovate its service portfolio by further establishing value added services geared towards travel during a pandemic environment.

To further augment these efforts, a digital roadmap was drawn up to optimise at least 60% of the backend process architecture through increased automation. It is hoped that by enhancing the robustness of the core IT infrastructure in this manner will enable Classic Travel to further differentiate its value proposition by dynamically integrating customized value add-ons and creating tailored solutions that cater to the demands of the more discerning traveler. Since rolling out phase 1 of the digital roadmap mid-2020, several key processes, including the finance and quality control have been successfully digitised using robotic automation technology.

Meanwhile true to its DNA, Classic Travel continued to make a conscious effort to seize all available opportunities in the current environment. In this regard, the strength of the “Classic” brand and the versatile suite of value added solutions under the “Classic” umbrella proved to be a considerable advantage, as did the high degree of automation which helped to improve service delivery and enhance the overall customer experience. An emphasis was placed on ensuring that travelers were continuously briefed on travel guidelines and safety tips to ensure smooth travel. A fully integrated service portfolio was introduced ensuring an uncomplicated journey for its customers with no hassle. Given the lack of flights, the focus was on providing blocking seating whilst meeting customers budgets, providing the most efficient connections and planning complex itineraries and maintaining a 24/7 support team to resolve any challenges a customer faces.

In the meantime, the company made strident steps in focusing on the Domestic tourism industry offering value added, innovative and exclusive travel products and solutions to the local market. The company saw encouraging traction in this market and further developed and enhanced its brand name as a unique solution provider.

An indication of the company’s efforts were visible during the last quarter of the financial year, where the company was able to generate its highest revenue for the year, with the opening up of the airports in Sri Lanka. In parallel cost structures were revisited with a series of cost containment measures implemented to optimise overheads wherever practical. The leadership team of the company and the senior management took extensive salary adjustments during the year to ensure to maintain overheads at a reasonable level.

The right sizing exercise of the company was undertaken amidst an environment where several companies within the Industry were forced to close down and halt operations. The company took a socially responsible and harmonised approach to ensure an equitable mechanism was deployed across its operations.

As a result of the holistic approach to tackle pandemic induced challenges, the Company succeeded in tabling satisfactory results for the FY 2020/21. These achievements were recognized at a national level as well, with Classic Travel being awarded the Restart Resilience Award under the Service Sector Large Category at the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020. The Restart Resilience Award is a special category award introduced as part of the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2020, to recognise and reward outstanding efforts by organisations to overcome the challenges resulting from the pandemic. The stringent awarding criteria covered numerous financial and operational areas, with special emphasis on strategic realignment in response to challenges, efforts to minimise the impact granular level, performance outcomes during the crisis along with the measures taken by the organisation to safeguard internal and external stakeholders against the pandemic impact, as well as the business continuity planning and crisis management measures for the future.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Leisure sector, now a leaner, fitter and more resilient business outfit aims to adopt a threepronged strategy to pursue growth objectives by building scale in selected markets.

In the near term, the priority would be to grab opportunities available in the current market. The medium term focus would be to grow the outbound segment. It is hoped that the reopening of the Sri Lankan airport in mid-Jan 2021 and the gradual resumption of international travel will provide the impetus to achieve these medium term goals.

At the onset, the focus of the sector will remain to look at optimizing current market opportunities. A differentiated approach with value added services and close customer relationship strategy will continue to be adopted by the company. Furthermore, the company is seeing latent demand across certain travel demographics and will continue to focus on growing services to the respective demographics. Furthermore, the Sector will target selected areas in the inbound market, in particular the experiential travel segment. The comprehensive suite of offerings along with the proven track record will be the key differentiators in positioning Classic Travel as the Country’s premier experiential travel solutions provider in this niche market. Domestic travel will play an important role in the revival of the industry in the short term, and the company is well placed to take advantage of this opportunity and has in fact showcased its strength in this vertical during the last year

The disruptions and slow down within the Industry is expected to remain in the near future and the recovery is expected to be gradual and slow. However as a forward looking growth driven business, the company will look to adopt both a medium and long term approach to driving its business over the next several years. Given the above backdrop the company is now well positioned and appropriately structured to optimize itself when the market does open up and pent up demand takes place for corporate travel as reflected in gradually growing demand visible in other international markets such as USA and China. Furthermore the industry is moving towards consolidation with smaller players exiting the market opening up further opportunities for the company to consolidate its market position and enhance market share in the future

The Classic Travel brand is one of the most recognized brands in the travel industry in Sri Lanka. The brand is synonymous with providing a high level of service, focused on experiential travel augmented by a variety of value added services. The company will look to further invest into this top of the mind brand awareness by aligning its operations, processes and activities accordingly.

The company will look to continue maintaining its marketing efforts in educating travelers, providing market insights, promoting its services and building on relationships and partnership with international players in an effort to bring in more experience, value and services to the customer.

As always technology integration will remain the underlying theme of the Company's efforts to improve internal efficiencies and enhance service delivery to the customer, while the solid track record spanning over 27 years will provide a clear advantage for Classic Travel to move swiftly forward towards a new growth phase in the postpandemic environment.

Classic Travels was one of the few select companies in the Industry in Sri Lanka, which considered the crisis as an opportunity to rethink the future of the organisation. The industry is at a crossroads and the measures put in place today will shape the future of the organisation going forward. The company will look to capitalizing on the wins it has achieved, and pursue and implement the strategic initiatives it has identified to transform the company into the future setting the stage for growth and gearing to meet the demands in the market with innovative value added services to meet future travel requirements, with an optimum structure driven by an efficient variable based lean operating model.



Leisure 2020/21 2019/20 % Change
Revenue 314 1,262 -75%
Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT) (269) 95 -382%
Finance Cost 7 47 -85%
Profit Before Tax (276) 48 -675%
Profit After Tax (276) 18 -1637%
Total Assets 892 1,529 -42%
Total Equity 441 731 -40%
Total Debt 209 263 -20%
Capital Employed 650 994 -35%
Return on Equity -62.7% 2.5% -2650%
Return on Capital Employed -41.4% 6.6% -730%

Turnover 0.1%

EBIT -1.5%

Capital Employed 1.2%

SECTORS | Investments

Product Mix Highlights 2020/21 Strategy
  • Export of Export of commodities
  • Value added processing
  • IT Solutions
  • Restructuring the portfolio of the export operation to service high yielding, less volatile operations
  • Expanding and further developing the value-added product range
  • Revamping and bringing focus to the technology business
  • Focusing on Higher Yielding Less Volatile Product Portfolio
  • Improving Efficiencies in Procurement and Capacities
  • Extending Brand Presence in the Market
  • Re-organising Tech Portfolio to Meet Current Market Demands

Revenue

  • 4,000
  • 3,500
  • 3,000
  • 2,500
  • 2,000
  • 1,500
  • 1,000
  • 500

EBIT & NP

  • 1200
  • 1000
  • 800
  • 600
  • 400
  • 200
  • 0
  • (200)
  • (400)
  • EBIT
  • Profit for the Year

INVESTMENT SECTOR

The Expo Group Investment Sector tabled a satisfactory performance for the current financial year despite the continuous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Investment sector reported Revenue of Rs. 2,466,125,710 for the year under review, whilst delivering a gross profit of Rs. 625,669,108 to further consolidate its position within the Group.

EXPORT OPERATIONS

A significant contributor of the Investment Sector - the Export operation recorded adequate results for the FY 2020/21, notwithstanding disruptions to its operations owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trading operation is the main vertical under the Export Operation. In the year under review, the trading operation recorded lower trading volumes amidst the scarcity of raw materials. Further impeding the operation of the company was the elevated prices and high freight rates which resulted in the dilution of margins. Recognising these challenges early on, the company aligned itself to meet customer demands through varied sourcing mechanisms driven by the multi origin trading model.

The multi-origin trading model is a key strategic initiative that was undertaken by the company several years ago as part of its international expansion and sourcing plans. Through this model, the company is able to source produce from multiple countries via its partner networks.

Leveraging on its long term customer relationships, infrastructure, and its established brand, the business was able to ensure service deliveries to customers were made by minimising disruptions to customer demands.

The value added business, including the coconut water operation and the organic dried fruit operation performed reasonably during the year.

The company entered into the coconut water business in mid-2017 by commissioning a dedicated coconut water factory, to carry out collection, processing, storing, packing and export of coconut water to the European and US markets, where the company services some of the leading brands. Over the past few years, demand for coconut water has been increasing at a rapid pace globally, in tandem with the global shift towards healthier lifestyles and nutrition-based consumption habits. This market is expected to continue to grow exponentially over the next several years as well. Recognising these developments at an early stage, the company moved to establish its own factory in order to seize the opportunity to gain first mover advantage among existing customers.

In the year under review, the coconut water operation experienced mixed fortunes in view of the fact that primary markets in Europe were severally disrupted due to the Pandemic. However visible improvements were noted during the last quarter of the year win the back of a gradual resumption of economic activity in European markets from January 2021 onwards.

Encouragingly the dried fruit operation delivered a noteworthy performance during the year, sustaining its operations despite experiencing sourcing limitations. The company exports organic dried fruits with the primary destination markets being, Europe and United States.

The growth and performance of these operations are heartening as significant effort has been dispensed in bringing the factory to international standards with all equipment and requisite licenses obtained by the company.

On an overall basis, despite operation being impeded due to the severe lockdowns in the European markets, the company was able to produce reasonable results thanks to a combination of efficiency improvements and strict cost containment measures implemented throughout its operations.

IT SOLUTIONS

The IT solutions vertical is represented by ITX360, the newest addition to the Investment Sector. ITX operates as a fullyfledged integrated IT solutions provider offering a range of IT services, including IT infrastructure services, technology solutions for logistics companies, Apps & software development, enterprise solutions, managed IT services, contact center services, process automation and IT project management services.

The FY2020/21 was a phenomenally transformative one for ITX 360. From its preliminary role as the Group IT services unit, ITX 360 has evolved considerably in the short span of just 02 years and today has carved out a niche as a fully-fledged independent IT solutions provider helping companies to expedite their digital journey. Adopting a broad based strategy to further build on the success achieved thus far, the focus for the year was pivoted on; reinforcing ITX360 brand positioning in the market, strengthening its operating team and broaden the service portfolio through new strategic partnerships.

Since the inception, ITX360 has strongly endorsed value adding partnerships that will augment its portfolio of offerings. These partnerships have been built on the success of ITX capabilities to deliver unmatched services to all of its customers.

In the year under review ITX 360 entered into several notable partnerships with a number of leading global international technology companies, enabling ITX360 to significantly expand its range of services offered.

In particular ITX’s foray into robotic process automation is a timely move, enabling the company to swiftly to deploy the solution across several organisations, resulting in the company being recognised amongst the leading integrators for this platform in Sri Lanka.

In yet another significant development for the year, ITX 360 began the process of obtaining ISO 27001:2013 (Information Security Management Standard) and ISO 22301:2019 (Security, Resilience and Business Continuity standard) for its operations. These standards., while greatly improving information security and business continuity platforms of the Expo Group will also provide ITX 360 clients with the assurance that the Company is equipped to offer the best in-class protection to secure their information assets.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Whilst the businesses globally grapple with challenges posed by the pandemic situation, the focus of the Investment sector will be to pursue a strategy of consolidation and growth, with the aim of creating value to all stakeholders, by focusing on offering niche products & services.

As the global economy regains stability the long term prospects of the Export business appear to be exciting. The demand for products offered by the trading operation continues to grow, and is expected to accelerate with increased consumer spending in the identified market verticals. To deliver stable growth and improved profitability amidst this backdrop, the company will look to streamline its product portfolio by moving to higher yielding, less volatile product products. Whilst maintaining its focus on the business portfolio, the focused restructuring exercise which commenced during the year to exit from volatile operations will continue to take place. This will enable the company to improve quality of earnings within the operations. In preparation for the anticipated growth the company will look to further improve its procurement efficiency and increase operating capacity and undertake several other processes improvements.

ITX 360 meanwhile will pursue a strategy of consolidation aimed at building on the success achieved during the current year. The fact that ITX 360 was able to effect a turnaround in a pandemic year proves that the Company has the capacity and the capability to grow vigorously over the next few years. Going forward ITX 360 will aim to cement its position as a premier IT solutions provider who can help clients to expedite their client’s technology migration journey through the use of the latest world class, cloud-based architecture. The work done up to now to build internal competencies, establish processes, develop solutions and form partnerships with leading international brands in the various domains has ensured that ITX360 is ready to drive forward its aggressive plans to help customers transform their business. To further support its ambitious growth plans for the future, ITX 360 will look to build on these strengths and seek out more strategic partnerships that would create synergies and boost the Company’s brand reputation in the market.

Investments 2020/21 2019/20 % Change
Revenue 2,466 3,616 -32%
Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT) 1,021 (103) 1,092%
Finance Cost 79 83 -5%
Profit Before Tax 943 (186) 607%
Profit After Tax 943 (190) 597%
Total Assets 5,859 8,138 -28%
Total Equity 3,470 5,007 -31%
Total Debt 2,122 1,722 23%
Capital Employed 5,592 6,729 -17%
Return on Equity 27.2% -3.8% 817%
Return on Capital Employed 18.3% -1.6% 1,251%

Turnover 1%

EBIT 6%

Capital Employed 10%