Steps up Digital Transformation to Attain Sustainable Development
AEON Credit Service (Asia) Company Limited (AEON Credit; Stock Code: 00900) has announced today its annual results for the year ended 28 February 2021 (FY2020). During FY2020, the change of consumer behavior to online shopping and indoor activities has prompted the Group to accelerate its digital transformation through the continued upgrade of mobile applications and dedicating more resources to online merchant marketing promotions.
The Group has also continued with the development of the new card and loan system to prepare for further technological upgrades in the payment industry. Sales in the fourth quarter started to pick up due to the launch of personalized marketing promotions.
Facing an exceptionally uncertain market environment during FY2020, the Group’s revenue was HK$1,089.9 million, with profit after tax amounting to HK$301.6 million. Earnings per share were 72.02 HK cents. The Group’s capital base remained strong with total equity up 3.3% to HK$3,422.0 million as at 28 February 2021.
In view of the sound fundamentals of the Group, the Board has recommended a final dividend of 18.0 HK cents per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 40.0 HK cents per share, representing a dividend payout ratio of 55.5%, up from 49.8% last year despite adversity.
Go Digital and Seize New Demand during Post-pandemic Recovery
Looking ahead, changing consumer spending behaviors under the new normal as a result of the Pandemic are expected to remain. The Group will adjust its business model to adapt to this changing consumer behavior and ensure it is prepared to meet new customer needs.
If the Pandemic can be brought under control soon, economic activities in Hong Kong are expected to rebound in the second half of FY2021. To ensure the effectiveness of marketing channels and to stay competitive in the market, the Group will put more emphasis on using social media and mobile applications to promote its products and marketing programs. Moreover, with the development of acquiring business merchant network, more promotions will be lined up with online merchants to stimulate customer spending.
In addition, the Group will work closely with AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co., Limited (“AEON Stores”; Stock Code: 00984) to maximize the card payments of customers inside AEON Stores. To cater for any possible adverse changes in the credit environment, the Group will enhance its credit policy for a better balance of customers’ financial needs and profitability.
In order to strengthen operational efficiency, the Group will continue to commit significant resources to complete the digital transformation and upgrade its ability to respond to changes in the market. The Group will introduce new product benefits and provide premium user experiences to its customers. Furthermore, the Group will enhance its data analysis methodologies to raise its marketing, credit assessment and credit management effectiveness.
A key element of the technology upgrade is the new card and loan system project. With the completion of the acquiring phase and the card authorization front-end replacement, the Group will start the issuing phase in the first quarter of FY2021, with the estimated project completion date to be in early 2023.
During the year under review, the Group has also completed several major projects, including enabling Faster Payment System (FPS) service for personal loan fund transfer, enhancing personal loan application through mobile application to support new version of Hong Kong identity cards, improving mobile application to support loan account overview, the implementation of additional network security enhancement, and work-from-home system functions.
Exploring Greater Bay Area’s Consumer Finance Market
Following the voluntary liquidation of two microfinance subsidiaries in the northern part of Mainland China, the Group will concentrate on consolidating its operations in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and strengthening the local management team. The microfinance subsidiary in Shenzhen achieved monthly break-even status in the year. The Group will put efforts to improve its operating performance and to seek new business opportunities.
Mr. Tomoharu Fukayama, Managing Director of AEON Credit said, “With the precautionary measures being taken and our strong business partner relationships, as well as our strong liquidity position and balance sheet, we are well prepared to face the challenges ahead and to move forward to capture new business opportunities that may arise as and when the market conditions return.”
About AEON Credit Service (Asia) Company Limited (Stock Code: 00900)
AEON Credit Service (Asia) Company Limited, a subsidiary of AEON Financial Service Co., Ltd. (TSE: 8570) and a member of the AEON Group, was set up in 1987 and listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited in 1995. The Group is principally engaged in the consumer finance business, which includes the issuance of credit cards and the provision of personal loan financing, card payment processing services, insurance agency and brokerage business in Hong Kong and microfinance business in Mainland China.
For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.aeon.com.hk.