CEO's Message

 

Dear Shareholders,

 

FY2017 has been another challenging year for Raffles Education Corporation Limited (the “Group”). However, the Group continues to focus on executing its strategic plans. The Board and management believe that the well-thought-out strategies will yield the desired results in due time.

 

We highlight below our K-12 schools, the new college in Italy and the subsidiary that operates a university city in The People’s Republic of China for shareholders to have a better understanding:

 

Raffles American School Iskandar

 

In FY2017, Raf es American School in EduCity at Iskandar, Johor, added more facilities to its campus which include an Olympic-size swimming pool, a planetarium that allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the outer space and solar system through interactive media, a cafeteria with seating capacity for 1,000 where staff and students can have their meals in comfort, and dormitories for boarding students. The cafeteria is operated by an in-house culinary team that provides quality and good tasting food with a healthy focus. Overall, the campus provides students with a modern, state-of-the-art environment that is conducive to learning and growth.

 

Raffles American School Bangkok

 

In FY2017, Raffles American School Bangkok, which is located next to Rafflees International College, in Bangna, Bangkok, welcomed its first batch of happy and eager students of between kindergarten 1 to 3 and Grades 1 to 5, thereby increasing our portfolio of K-12 schools. Grades 6 to 12 will be rolled out gradually through FY2018/19. Raffles American School Bangkok offers an American core curriculum, leveraging on the success of Raffles American School Iskandar, and aims to secure the WASC (Western Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation as soon as possible. Though situated within a competitive market, the value of the brand name ensures a healthy growth potential.

Raffles Milano Istituto Moda e Design

 

During the financial year, the Group‘s wholly-owned subsidiary, Raffles Asset Italy S.R.L., substantially completed the renovations at its 4-storey building at Via Felice Casati, 16, in Milan, Italy. The school, named “Raffles Milano Istituto Moda e Design” (“Raffles Milano”), conducts both undergraduate and masters programmes in various disciplines of design. After completion of renovation, the balance of the space that is not utilised by the school will be leased out as commercial space. This is in line with the Group’s ultimate aim of owning the education assets and facilities of every school, college, or university it operates. Raffles Milano will bring in relevant industry partners to operate within the premises to provide students with internship and employment opportunities in order for them to be effective in their profession as soon as they graduate. This model ensures that we can provide high quality facilities for our students, while enhancing operational cost efficiency.

 

Oriental University City Holdings (H.K.) Limited

 

During the financial year, Oriental University City Holdings (H.K.) Limited (“OUCHK”), our 75% owned subsidiary which is listed on the Growth Enterprise Market of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, completed its acquisition of the land and buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that are being used by Raffles College of Higher Education Kuala Lumpur. After the acquisition, OUCHK continued to lease the land and buildings to Raf es College of Higher Education Kuala Lumpur, thereby reducing rental expenses for the Group.

 

OUCHK actively seeks opportunities to grow its portfolio of education assets and facilities.

 

In Closing

 

The regulatory environment in most of the regions that we operate in has become more stringent in recent years and therefore, more resources and costs are expended in managing compliance and governance. While the Group continues to source for new opportunities to enhance its revenue streams, management trains a keen eye on the existing businesses to ensure that the Group is efficient and effective, and stays lean, nimble and competitive. We believe that our focus on achieving sustainable growth through improvement in operations and the initiatives to extend the Group’s global reach into key markets of education will enhance our offerings, increase student numbers and improve profitability. Our focus on long term development will deliver more value to our shareholders in the coming years.

 

Acknowledgements

 

I would like to thank our shareholders, investors, students, business partners, staff and all stakeholders for their continued support. I would also like to acknowledge the guidance and wise counsel of my fellow Board members.

 

 

Mr Chew Hua Seng

Chairman and CEO

 

CEO’s Message was extracted from Annual Report 2017 publication. Information is correct at the point of print.