During the year 2017, the Group focused on the completion of the corporate exercise which concluded on 29th December 2017 and the final listing of Minda Global Berhad which concluded on 19th Febuary 2018. The completed exercise involved the injection of Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (“CUCMS”) into Asiamet Education Group Berhad (“AEGB”) leaving SMRT as the controlling shareholder of the enlarged Education business comprising CUCMS, Asia Metropolitan University (“AMU”), Asia Metropolitan Colleges (“AMC”) and Asia Metropolitan International School (“AMETIS”). The transfer of listing status of AEGB to Minda Global Berhad marked the completion of the corporate exercise. This is expected to result in substantial synergies which will benefit the business including sharing common resources and facilities.
After the completion of the corporate exercise, CUCMS, AMU, AMC and AMETIS are wholly owned by Minda Global Berhad. SMRT holds a 57% equity in Minda Global Berhad.
While the Management continues to ensure good corporate governance, academic excellence, prudent financial and student enrolment strategies, it is now apparent that the turnaround of AMU is expected to be more long term. In the past year, there have been significant decisions made with regards to changes in the key leadership team, curriculum and a move to a new campus in Cyberjaya with better facilities and convenient access targeted in the third quarter of 2018, all of which we believe will firmly place AMU on a clear road to recovery.
The Education part of the business was a major driver supported by the Technology segment comprising both the human resources software and Internet of Things (“IoT”) and finally the Human Resources Professional Services (HRPS) segment that includes training, events and consulting. On the Education side, despite various challenges attributed to the economy, CUCMS was successful both in student numbers and as well as from its achievement of Setara 5 rating from the Ministry of Higher Education. Setara ratings are generally seen as a reflection of quality and reaffirms the institution’s toptier standing along other larger institutions. AMU achieved a Setara rating of 3 and AMC in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu achieved a rating of My Quest 4.
On the other hand, the turnaround of AMC, especially Kota Kinabalu, has seen promising improvements. AMETIS continues to grow in terms of student enrolment and financial results. CUCMS has continued to implement various growth initiatives and maintain its profit track record. With regards to the Technology and HRPS segments, there is potential to grow the business. As such, despite the challenges, the medium to long-term business outlook continues to be favourable towards Education, HR-based technology and HRPS as human capital remains the key driver to achieve the economic goals of the nation.
While the Board is confident of the future of the Group andremains committed to grow in a consistent and sustainable manner, the Board is also aware of the obstacles due to the global economic outlook. With the growing demand for our solutions and key strategic initiatives being pursued, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Group expects to perform better in 2018.
The Group will continue to ensure adequate emphasis and resources are applied to enhance the systems of risk management, quality management and internal controls. The implementation and regular monitoring of risk management and internal control systems ensure that the business, operation and financial risks are well managed in guiding us to achieve our goals. The Board has also continued to further strengthen its corporate governance framework in line with recommendations of the revised Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2017.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank:
Finally, I would also like to record a note of thanks to my fellow Board members for their invaluable contributions and guidance to the Group. It is my belief that they will continue to serve you, our shareholders and work towards taking the Group to the next level to become a leading education and learning company in a digital world.
TAN SRI DATO’ R. PALAN
B.Sc. (Madras)., M. A. (Madras)., M.Sc. (Leicester)., A.M.P. (Harvard).,
Ph.D. (California)., Ph.D. (Ballarat)
P.S.M., D.P.M.P. (Perak), J.B.K. (Kuching)