Dear shareholders, customers, board members, employees and stakeholders,
In today's world, information is made available instantaneously to our customers and their end-customers via the internet and proliferation of smartphone use. Globalisation and digitalisation are connecting people and businesses with information so dynamically that it revolutionises the low of information that breaks down the borders between retail, apparel and textile industries. With the advent of technological tools including artificial intelligence and the digitalisation of our supply chain, such information is quickly aggregated and analysed to gauge and satisfy customer demand.
The apparel industry is embracing globalisation at such a rapid pace that only the strongest retailers with well-recognized brands will do well as they enter this changing era where consumer want both online e-Commerce platform and offline brick-and-mortar stores. As our customers continue to consolidate and move towards an omni-channel model, with the changing needs of the end-consumer, they are launching new ways to enhance their customer experience. The world of fast fashion has seen millennials wanting wider choice for trendy, multiple-use clothing, besides the ease and convenience of online shopping. Hence, clothes manufacturers and retailers are fostering closer collaboration towards a common, win-win strategy to improve their supply chain process integration. Specifically, we see procurement practices of retailers focus on areas like lead-time reduction for order fulfillment, more product styles and colour choice, smaller order quantities, vendor payment term extensions and higher risks assumed by the manufacturers. As one of their key manufacturing partners, we have to respond to our customers by translating their desires into better and quicker products and services.
We are embracing these changes by continuously engaging with our customers and providing them with our production of superior fabric, clothes and services, with quality, timeliness and competitive pricing. All this would not be possible, had we not taken in our customers’ feedback and needs within our supply chain process.
In our Fscal year FY2018 ending June 30, 2018, our Group achieved another year of success in growing top-line revenue, this time to US$180 million, a level last seen in FY2015. Our Sales & Marketing arm generated impressive momentum revenue with increased orders from existing customers. New customers were added to the portfolio, one of which we have made maiden shipments in the second Fiscal quarter of FY2018. Sales in our fabric mill in Malaysia namely, Maxim Textile Technology
Sdn Bhd, grew impressively to approximately US$52 million, an all-time high record for this textile business.The operating profit (EBIT) of this entity increased by 50%, year on year to approximately US$4.5 million, proving that the acquisition and investment of the Group in this textile business harbours great opportunity. The future of our textile business is on a strong growth track and will continue to serve as a key driver for the Group performance, as we plan to allocate more investment capital to enhance manufacturing capacity in this upcoming Fiscal year.
For the past two Fiscal years, we have established a strong manufacturing presence in Asia, with our garment manufacturing investments in Vietnam and Malaysia. At the end of this Fiscal year FY2018, we announced that we took a further strategic step with our decision to invest in garment manufacturing in Cambodia to provide our own in-house production capacity for future growth. We consider such an investment to be critical to winning higher volumes from existing and new customers especially in Canada and Europe and to assist us in delivering optimal business results.
We have the right strategy in place when we started our journey in vertical integration with the acquisition of textile manufacturing in Malaysia, along with our expansion of production capacity in garment manufacturing in Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia. Progress is made in putting these unique assets to work towards serving our customers better. With our execution of the strategies and people in place, we have built a strong foundation to serve our customers, most of whom have been with us for decades. We are well-positioned to win business as we have the right plan. We are excited about our future and I wish to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to you all.