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Kitchen Culture’s business transformation at risk – funds raised not accounted for

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SINGAPORE, Apr 21, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - As the single largest shareholder of Kitchen Culture Holdings Ltd. ("Kitchen Culture") with a 21.19% stake, OOWAY Group Ltd. ("OOWAY Group" or the "Group") shares the frustration of many shareholders who raised concerns over matters of internal controls and governance ahead of Kitchen Culture's recent Annual General Meeting held on 18 March 2022.

We are deeply disappointed by the findings of Baker Tilly Consulting (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.'s ("BTC") latest report which confirm our worst fears regarding the shocking matters of concern which were first revealed in June 2021 after Kitchen Culture's Audit Committee engaged BTC to review its internal controls.

In August 2020, Kitchen Culture entered into a sale and purchase agreement and a shareholder's agreement with OOWAY Group to acquire a 30% equity stake in OOWAY Technology Pte. Ltd. ("OOWAY Technology") at a purchase consideration of S$23.92 million (the "Purchase Consideration") to be satisfied by way of the allotment and issue of 90,000,000 new ordinary shares in the capital of Kitchen Culture at an issue price of S$0.2658 per ordinary share ("Acquisition").

Mr Liu Yanlong, representative for OOWAY Group, said, "We welcomed Kitchen Culture as a strategic investor in OOWAY Technology given the mutual benefits of the acquisition, which was in line with Kitchen Culture's diversification strategy and OOWAY Group's expansion in the ASEAN region. OOWAY Group provided an opportunity for Kitchen Culture to leverage our network and capabilities, as well as to participate in the significant growth potential of Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence."

Kitchen Culture's diversification strategy was crucial as it had long suffered from recurring losses and negative operating cash flow from its core business as a kitchen solutions provider for 8 years and was in a dire state at the time of the acquisition.

The combination of the newly raised funds and OOWAY Technology's gilt-edge technical capabilities would have provided new engines for growth and hastened the return to profitability for Kitchen Culture.

Prospective investors present at OOWAY Group-led investment roadshows, eventually took up equity in Kitchen Culture, with the expectation of the game-changing business diversification through the acquisition of OOWAY Technology. Unfortunately, the raised capital has not materialised into any effort in business transformation.

Instead, we are deeply disappointed with the findings of the BTC report, which revealed that the gaps in Kitchen Culture's financial operating procedures led to[2]:

- Risk of misuse of Kitchen Culture's funds
- Risk of unauthorised use of proceeds obtained from the S$19.23 million of funds raised
- Risk of diversion of raised funds to purposes outside business diversification purposes
- Risk of questionable debt repayments to third parties
- Lack of independence and checks and balances in approving and processing payments
- Lack of accountability and traceability over entertainment expenses
- Lack of documentation for personnel hiring and pay increments
- Inappropriate operating structure involving multiple family members as management staff

These risks which were unknown to us prior to the acquisition have had a major impact on our growth plans as ongoing audits, investigations and lawsuits require significant time and resources, a challenging situation further compounded by the historical losses. Furthermore, Kitchen Culture has suffered reputational damage as a result of these issues.

Kitchen Culture's last traded price of S$0.08 per share marks an unrealised loss of close to 70% or S$16.72 million for the OOWAY Group following the completion of the acquisition. On the other hand, OOWAY Technology's value has remained stable during this period, which is also Kitchen Culture's key asset. As OOWAY Technology continues its development and making encouraging progress to grow its business, the long-term value of Kitchen Culture's stake in OOWAY Technology remains fundamentally intact.

Mr Liu added, "As a shareholder of Kitchen Culture, we have sustained significant losses, but we remain committed to growing our business together with Kitchen Culture and intend to provide the funding support needed in the near term to allay going concern issues."

The latest BTC report has identified S$7.22 million as "unmatched". This is a staggering sum and OOWAY Group hopes that the Management of Kitchen Culture investigates further to get to the bottom of this issue, so that any and all discrepancies will be ultimately accounted for to shareholders.

The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) has recently requested for copies of the BTC reports for further review and investigation. We call on the new Board of Kitchen Culture to continue its relentless efforts to strengthen internal controls and implement BTC's recommendations without delay and to cooperate with the CAD to leave no stone unturned in fully resolving all outstanding issues, so we can lead the company in business transformation again.

Our confidence in Kitchen Culture's new Board to safeguard the interests of shareholders remains strong, but it must work hard to rebuild long-term value for Kitchen Culture and its shareholders.

BTC's Schedule of Matched and Unmatched Expense Items[3]
https://www.acnnewswire.com/docs/Multimedia/Low_OOWAY20220421.jpg

General Announcement:: UPDATE ON REVIEW BY BAKER TILLY CONSULTANCY (SINGAPORE) PTE. LTD. https://bit.ly/386bU8i
General Announcement:: ASSISTANCE IN THE REVIEW BY THE COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT https://bit.ly/3jWNY9U

[1] "Unmatched" refers to situations with any of the following criteria:
- Expenses cannot be traced to the bank statements
- Details of expenses cannot be traced to the underlying supporting documents
- Description of the expenses on the supporting document is not in line with the categories of utilisation as stated in Kitchen Culture's schedules
[2] These risks and gaps reflect the summary of findings listed in Kitchen Culture's response to SGX queries on 12 July 2021
[3] Rounded up to two decimal points

About OOWAY Technology Pte. Ltd.

OOWAY Technology is a big data AI technology company which uses innovative applications to creatively design intelligent digital products and models used in multiple fields. It does so by forming a closed loop of the entire process which includes data collection, model analysis, and intelligent applications.

OOWAY's development of an advanced technology platform - DIGIT (Digital Innovation of Global Integrated Trade) propels it to leading the way in a new era of B2B trading 4.0. By integrating the vitality of global trading businesses with emerging digital technologies, OOWAY's credit 3.0 technology is combined to construct a smart platform that ensures the authenticity and credibility of global trade whilst reducing costs, increasing efficiency and facilitating trade in a more reliable fashion. OOWAY brings to users the 5S operating framework, pushing out a new form of Ultimate Trade (UT). This has enabled global trade to evolve towards a new stage of standardization and intelligence.

Issued by OOWAY Group Ltd.

Media Contact:
Email: service@ooway.com

Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.comAs the single largest shareholder of Kitchen Culture Holdings Ltd. ("Kitchen Culture") with a 21.19% stake, OOWAY Group Ltd. ("OOWAY Group" or the "Group") shares the frustration of many shareholders who raised concerns over matters of internal controls and governance ahead of Kitchen Culture's recent Annual General Meeting held on 18 March 2022.

Society Pass spins-off Leflair into Leflair Group, appoints Group CEO; to become next Super Distributor Nexus in SEA’s Lifestyle Retail Ecosystem

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SINGAPORE, Apr 15, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - Society Pass Inc (SoPa) (NASDAQ: SOPA), a leading Southeast Asian loyalty and ecommerce ecosystem, today announced the completion of restructuring Leflair's Vietnam operations with the spin-off of Leflair Group (LFGroup). Along with this restructuring, SoPa has appointed Loic Gautier as Chief Executive Officer of the new Leflair Group. Ngo Thi Cham, Vietnam Country Head of SoPa and current Managing Director of Leflair, will become Leflair Group's Chief Operating Officer and work alongside Loic in driving the business towards its next stage of growth.

As a result of this corporate restructuring, the Leflair Group is set to become Southeast Asia's next lifestyle retail super distributor nexus, evolving from a single discounted platform to a lifestyle retail ecosystem, providing shoppers with an integrated and unique shopping experience from online to offline. The Leflair Group will continue to pursue acquisition of companies in the e-commerce, lifestyle retail and online advertising verticals.

Ray Liang, CFO of SoPa Group, commented, "After the IPO of SoPa last year, we have been working on a new strategy for Leflair, in order to maximize its potential as a destination for lifestyle shopping in Southeast Asia. To facilitate this, we are happy to welcome back Loic Gautier as Group CEO, joining our executive team and becoming the driving force of Leflair Group in the future. At SoPa, hiring key talent is among our top priorities, and we always welcome Leflair's old talents to return, and work with the team to carry Leflair to new heights. Having Loic return as the CEO of Leflair Group ensures continuous and sustainable growth for Leflair in the years to come. The new recruitment also enables us to carry out larger plans for Leflair, evolving from a single online platform to become a true ecosystem for lifestyle shopping."

Since its IPO on the Nasdaq last year, SoPa has focused on M&A activities to expand the ecosystem with other online platforms across 6 verticals: lifestyle, F&B, travel, digital media, and B2B software and loyalty technology in the top three V.I.P countries of Southeast Asia - Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines. Through these business lines, SoPa improves the interconnectedness and support within its ecosystem, fulfilling its mission to connect millions of registered consumers with thousands of registered merchants across Southeast Asia.

With this appointment, Loic will be responsible for managing Leflair Group's growth and expansion strategy, introducing the Leflair platform to other Southeast Asian countries, as well as managing future acquisitions to expand group activity into other smaller segments within the lifestyle retail industry.

As CEO of the new Leflair Group, Loic said, "It's an honor to receive SoPa's trust. With this spin-off, Leflair now has a new medium to maximize its full growth potential. By pivoting from a single platform to an integrated lifestyle retail ecosystem, we seek to connect all players within the lifestyle retail value chain, from brand distributors, to offline stores, ecommerce platforms and delivery companies. The new vision makes Leflair a pioneer in redefining the lifestyle and ecommerce retail market across Southeast Asia."

According to Loic, Leflair Group is working on ambitious plans for the period ahead, aiming for extensive funding rounds and a roadmap to IPO in the near future. To learn more, please visit websites www.thesocietypass.com and www.leflair.com.

About Society Pass

Society Pass is a leading loyalty and data marketing ecosystem that operates multiple e-commerce and lifestyle platforms across its key markets. Its business model focuses on collecting user data through the expected circulation of its universal loyalty points. It seamlessly connects consumers and merchants across multiple product and service categories fostering organic loyalty. Since its inception, SoPa has amassed over 1.6 million registered consumers and over 5,500 registered merchants/brands on its platform. It has invested 2+ years building proprietary IT architecture with cutting edge components to effectively scale and support its Platform's consumers, merchants, and acquisitions.

SoPa provides merchants with SoPa.asia, an online commerce platform for users; #HOTTAB Biz, an order management app for business partners on SoPa.asia; and #HOTTAB POS, a specialized POS technology solution and comprehensive system for payment, loyal customer management, user's profile analytics, and financial support packages for small and medium-sized enterprises. These tools attract and retain customers with personalized interaction based on analytics and high profit margins. SoPa operates Leflair.com, Vietnam's leading lifestyle e-commerce platform, Pushkart.ph, a popular grocery delivery company in Philippines, and Handycart.vn, a leading online restaurant delivery service in Vietnam. Please visit http://thesocietypass.com.

About Leflair

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Leflair is Vietnam's leading lifestyle e-commerce platform for Fashion, Beauty and Home Furnishing products. Launched in December 2015, Leflair was selling more than 2,500 brands via its flash-sales model. SoPa acquired Leflair's assets in February 2021, relaunching the platform in September 2021, and spinning-off the Leflair Group in April 2022. For more information, please visit https://leflair.com.

Media Contact
Precious Communications for SoPa
sopa@preciouscomms.com
+65 6303 0567


Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.comSociety Pass Inc (Nasdaq: SOPA) today announced the completion of restructuring of Leflair Vietnam's operations into a separate entity - Leflair Inc ("Leflair Group"). Along with this corporate restructuring, SoPa appointed Loic Gautier to become the new Group Chief Executive Officer of Leflair Group.

UREEQA Brings Validation-as-a-Service to the NFT Marketplace

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ONTARIO, CA, Apr 15, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - UREEQA, a leading digital validation company helping creators to protect, manage and monetize creative work, has today announced the launch of its new Validation-as-a-Service (VaaS) solution, designed to tackle NFT fraud and protect NFT creators.

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Certainly, any solution will involve validating a creator's identity. However, Ureeqa was conceived of the notion that it was as important to validate the authorship and ownership of every creation as well, a factor lacking in current NFT marketplaces, most of which focus on the ease with which creative pieces can be initialized and sold.

UREEQA's unique platform fixes this by employing its VaaS solution to generate a Package-of-Proof(TM) and a Responsibly Minted(TM) NFT, which come together to serve as evidence that the creator and the creation have been authenticated and are legitimate.

"The initial exchange models were adopted by NFT marketplaces on the fly, hurried and so demand-focused that it enabled bad actors to take advantage of the situation," UREEQA CEO Kirk Fergusson said. "Efforts need to be made to curb the abilities to perpetrate fraud as easily in the first place. Then, we have the answer with a patented process and blockchain-based solution that can be integrated into most NFT platforms."

UREEQA's revolutionary system -- which has been tried and tested by renowned artists on the company's own marketplace -- is a creator-centric hybrid approach to validation and IP protection. The platform's patented validation process enables verification via a centralized model, while generating a Package-of-Proof on the blockchain for anyone to see in decentralized fashion.

Any ETH-based NFT sales platform can integrate the core components of the UREEQA platform into their marketplace, just like that. And so too can any auction house or creator association.

Participating marketplaces can visibly delineate creations that have gone through this thorough assessment process -- highlighting the extra steps that creators have taken to instill confidence amongst prospective purchasers.

"Building scalable world-class NFT marketplaces to address early adopter demand has taken considerable effort over the past year," Fergusson added. "At UREEQA, we've spent the last 18 months building a validation solution designed to support creators first and foremost -- and this patented technology is now available to NFT marketplaces to eradicate fraud and instill trust in the creations they're offering through their platforms. By leveraging our VaaS solution, NFT marketplaces can quickly work to stamp out fraud while preparing their marketplaces for broader mass market adoption."

About UREEQA

Established in Canada in 2020, UREEQA is modernizing the inefficient and bureaucratic systems currently in place for copyright protection. By building a robust and compelling Package-of-Proof(TM) for source creative work, UREEQA only mints Validated NFTs to represent creative rights. This helps keep buyers safe by giving them confidence that the work they are purchasing was minted by the smart contract approved by the creator of the work and is therefore authentic.

The UREEQA platform strives to protect creators' work, their rights and their revenue by harnessing the power of blockchain technology. UREEQA provides value and opportunities for its creators, validators and token holders via URQA, the token at the heart of the UREEQA ecosystem. For more information on UREEQA and upcoming announcements, please visit our website, join our Telegram channel and Discord server, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

- Website: https://www.ureeqa.com/
- Discord: https://discord.com/channels/756566642418384906/824682437417369654
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ureeqa_inc/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ureeqainc/
- Telegram: https://t.me/UREEQA
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/UREEQA_Inc

Disclaimer:
Statements in this article, including any statements relating to UREEQA's future plans and objectives or expected results, may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in technology development and commercialization. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Do your own research!

Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.comUREEQA, a leading digital validation company that helps creators protect, manage and monetize creative work, today announced the launch of its new Validation-as-a-Service (VaaS) solution, designed to tackle NFT fraud and protect NFT creators.
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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to Shareholders: Decentralized Finance, Blockchain Are Real

Jamie Dimon to JPMorgan Shareholders: Decentralized Finance and Blockchain Are RealJPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sees decentralized finance (defi) and blockchain as real, new technologies that can be deployed in both private and public fashion. He also noted that JPMorgan is at the forefront of this innovation. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Praises Defi and Blockchain JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recognized the merit of decentralized finance (defi) […]

Mytopsporstbook: Metaverse Takeover – Companies Like Nike, Ralph Lauren and the NFL Leading the Way

Tag Template - News Hub PRO CoinGenius Hosts Virtual Crypto Event The Road To Mass AdoptionPRESS RELEASE. March 2022 – MyTopSportsbooks.com publishes their METAVERSE article showing just how parallel this virtual universe is to our reality. Mainstream Companies Take Their Cut With several traditional companies on the fence about this traditionally intangible virtual world, other big brands are taking the leap into the virtual abyss. Ralph Lauren reported to be […]

Redsun Properties 2021 Annual Revenue Increases 32.3% to RMB26.67 Billion, Gross Profit Ups 12.7% to RMB5.08 Billion

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HONG KONG, Mar 31, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - Redsun Properties Group Limited ("Redsun Properties", or the "Group", stock code: 1996), a leading comprehensive property developer in Mainland China, announced today its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021. The Group achieved stable growth in revenue and profits remained sustainable. It continues to achieve the green tier in the "Three Red Lines" assessment.

2021 Annual Results Highlights:

-- Contracted sales reached RMB87.22 billion. Contracted average selling price increased from RMB14,622 per sq.m. in 2020 to RMB16,887 per sq.m. in 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.5%
-- Revenue amounted to RMB26.67 billion, representing an increase of 32.3% as compared with 2020. Revenue from commercial operations and hotel operations increased by 15.3% to RMB625.7 million
-- Gross profit and gross profit margin were RMB5.08 billion and 19.1% respectively
-- Net profit amounted to RMB1.87 billion, representing an increase of 0.6% as compared with 2020
-- As at 31 December 2021, the "Three Red Lines" indications of the Group were in green lights, with gearing ratio (excluding contract liabilities) of 68.1%, net gearing ratio of 57.0%, cash to short-term debt ratio of 1.41 times. The Group had cash and bank balances on hand of approximately RMB16.04 billion

Steady Sales with optimized structure
Contracted sales maintained steady growth and the sales structure continued to be optimized. During the year, the Group achieved contracted sales of RMB87.22 billion, representing a slight increase over that of the previous year. The average contracted sales unit price was approximately RMB16,887 per sq.m, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.5%. The sales of the first-tier and new first-tier cities accounted for more than 40% of the overall sales. The Yangtze River Delta and Jiangsu maintained a leading position. The average price in the Great Bay Area and Chengdu Chongqing metropolitan area increased significantly, and the efficiency and quality of its return on investment emerged from the industry.

During the year, sales revenue recognized by the Group was RMB26.67 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 32.3% compared with that of 2020, which realized a steady growth. The gross profit was RMB5.08 billion, with a year-on-year increase of 12.7%, where the gross profit margin amounted to 19.1%. The net profit was RMB1.87 billion, and the core net profit was up 3.5% to RMB1.47 billion; the net profit margin was 7.0%, which remained at the industry average level.

Proven efficacy in commercial/residential linkage, steadily consolidating nationwide layout
With the dual-driven synergic development in property management and commercial real estate in 2021, the Group continued to enhance its commercial and industrial competitiveness. Property sales increased by 32.8% to approximately RMB26.04 billion as compared to the same period last year, accounting for 97.6% of the total recognized revenue. Commercial operations increased by 15.5% to approximately RMB583.5 million as compared to the same period last year. Hotel operations increased by 12.0% to approximately RMB42.1 million as compared to the same period last year.

During the year, the commercial benchmark position of Nanjing Hong Yang Plaza has been continuously consolidated, and the diversified land acquisition mode of commercial and residential linkage has been further consolidated. Some new high-quality commercial and residential plots in the center of Weifang, Shandong Province have been obtained, and the Weifang Project has already been launched. In terms of expansion, light and heavy assets have advanced in line in a stable fashion. At the same time, the Group fully exploited advantages of resources from other excellent commercial projects to create Redsun's representative and benchmark properties.

The Group will continue to implement the investment strategy of "penetrating the Greater Jiangsu Region, strengthening foothold in major metropolitan areas and expanding into core cities". Through the synergic development in property development and commercial real estate, the Group realized quality layout and diversified its land reserves. In respect of regional layout, the Group strengthened its foothold in the leading cities within developed metropolitan areas in China. In respect of investment structure, the layout focus was located in first-tier and premium second-tier cities. As of the end of 2021, the Group had a total land reserve of 18.78 million sq.m.. The core is to penetrate the Greater Jiangsu Region. For three consecutive years, its land reserve in Jiangsu has been maintained at more than 50% of the overall land reserve, and its land reserve in the Yangtze River Delta has been maintained at more than 67% of the overall land reserve. With extensive and diversified channels, sufficient and reasonable land banks, premium and healthy structure, and active and effective strategies, a solid foundation was laid for the Group to sustain steady and quality development in the future.

Integrated operation with upgraded products
Creating a cross cycle resource and capital operation and scheduling ability, the Group strengthened its foothold in the cities to achieve a leading initial sell-through rate of projects, thereby facilitating the formation of advantage in sales scale in regional sectors; improved its service quality by creating the competitive "six-integration" system. The New Hongqiao Purchase Alliance led by the Group constantly realized cost optimization through scale effect; the level of delivery was improved through strict product control, and thus its customer satisfaction and industry ranking reached a record high, and the total annual delivery and delivery rate maintained a high-level of steady growth. The Group upgraded the product system of Redsun Community 2.0, created the "Redsun System" IP and built green and healthy houses.

Maintain sound financial position
The Group continued to achieve the green tier in the "Three Red Lines" assessment, which consistently met the regulatory requirements. With steady increase in the scale of assets, its debt structure was continuously optimized. As at 31 December 2021, gearing ratio (excluding contract liabilities) was 68.1%, net gearing ratio was 57.0%, cash to short-term debt ratio was 1.41 times. Total assets were RMB132.7 billion, up 11.5% as compared to the figure of last year. The Group had cash and bank balances on hand of approximately RMB16.04 billion.

Future strategy: Be customer-oriented, Strengthen foothold in premium core cities
Going forward, the industry will return to the essence of residence, the market will return to the essence of supply and demand, and the property enterprises will return to the essence of operation. In terms of operation strategies, the Group will be operation- and customer-oriented, continue to strengthen its brand influence and provide products and services of premium quality. In terms of investment strategies, the Group will adhere to expanding its investment channels in a diversified manner. It will invest in the new first- and second-tier cities with strong foothold and deepening its intensive and meticulous development in premium core cities, aiming to achieve a high realization rate for project investments. The Group will also expand its accessibility to capital markets with an aim to constantly reduce its finance costs and support healthy and sustainable growth.

About Redsun Properties Group Limited ("Redsun Properties") (stock code: 1996)
Redsun Properties Group Limited ("Redsun Properties" or "The Group") is a leading comprehensive developer in China, focusing on the development of residential properties and the development, operation and management of commercial and comprehensive properties. The Group has established a steady regional leading position in Jiangsu Province by taking root in Nanjing, Jiangsu and Yangtze River Delta. Since the incorporation of Nanjing Redsun in 1999, Redsun Properties has worked in the sector of property development and sales for 20 years, established the Hong Yang brand and received widespread recognition for the development capacity and industry position.

While developing residential properties, Redsun Properties also operates commercial complexes covering shopping malls, amusement parks and community centers, hotels and office buildings. Most of the commercial property buildings are adjacent to the Group's residential property projects, providing ancillary services for the residents and also increasing the value of the Group's residential property projects.

Redsun Properties is a constituent of the MSCI China Small Cap Index, Hang Seng Composite Index and Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Index.



Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.comRedsun Properties Group Limited ("Redsun Properties", or the "Group", stock code: 1996), a leading comprehensive property developer in Mainland China, announced today its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021. The Group achieved stable growth in revenue and profits remained sustainable. It continues to achieve the green tier in the "Three Red Lines" assessment.

CEFC Announces 2021 Annual Results

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HONG KONG, Mar 28, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - CEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company Limited ("CEFC Financial", together with its subsidiaries, "the Group", to be renamed as "Virtual Mind Holding Company Limited"; stock code: 1520.HK) is pleased to announce its audited consolidated results for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the "Year").

During the Year, the Group was mainly engaged in the design, manufacture and trading of apparel, as well as provision of money lending services. Thanks to the continued revival of demand in apparel market during the Year, the Group embraced growth momentum in its apparel operation. Driven by its excellent business performance, revenue of the Group increased by approximately 22.1% to approximately HK$140.0 million (2020: HK$114.0 million) during the Year. Gross profit was approximately HK$38.7 million (2020: HK$25.0 million), increased by approximately 55.1%. The overall gross profit margin increased by approximately 5.9 percentage points to approximately 27.7% (2020: 21.8%), benefiting from revenue growth and the Group's strategic focus to shift to higher-margin own brand products in the apparel operation during the Year. With the increase in the Group's revenue and no impairment loss on goodwill incurred for the Year, loss attributable to owners of the Company significantly narrowed by approximately 32.1% to approximately HK$46.3 million (2020: HK$68.1 million).

Business Review
Apparel Operation
Apparel Operation is the Group's core business. Its revenue is principally derived from the sales of apparel products, namely own brand products and private label products. The U.S. was the principal market for the Group's apparel operation during the Year. With the rebound of the U.S. economy following the relaxation of restrictive social measures, coupled with fiscal measures and monetary support, the revenue from the Group's apparel operation increased by approximately 20.7% year-on-year to approximately HK$129.3 million (2020: HK$107.1 million), accounting for 92.4% of the Group's total revenue.

In view of the higher gross profit margin of its own brand products, the Group focused on the expansion of this segment during the Year. The segmental revenue thus increased by approximately 80.4% to approximately HK$91.7 million (2020: HK$50.8 million). Own brand products became the largest contributor of the Group's apparel operation and accounted for 71.0% (2020: 47.5%) of the total revenue from apparel operation during the Year. Gross profit registered strong growth of approximately 107.5% to approximately HK$27.7 million (2020: HK$13.4 million), with gross profit margin increasing from 26.3% in 2020 to approximately 30.2%.

As the Group strategically shifted its focus to its own brand products during the Year, revenue from private label products decreased to approximately HK$37.5 million (2020: HK$56.2 million), contributing 29.0% of the total revenue from apparel operation for the Year. Gross profit and gross profit margin amounted to approximately HK$416,000 (2020: HK$4.2 million) and approximately 1.1% (2020: 7.4%) respectively.

Money Lending Business
The Group's lending business primarily offers loans to individual customers and small businesses in Hong Kong. Hong Kong saw a strong recovery in 2021, attributable to the well-contained local pandemic during the Year and continued revival of global economic activities. During the Year, revenue from money lending operation increased by approximately 42.3% to approximately HK$10.6 million (2020: HK$7.4 million), accounted for 7.6% of total revenue of the Group.

Outlook
The Group is committed to exploring new business opportunities to expand its apparel design, manufacturing and trading business. In view of the recent development that the apparel industry has shifted towards the market segment of trendy culture well-received among younger generation, the Group aims to capture the huge potential of fashion and trendy apparel market. In order to diversify from its focus of manufacturing private label women apparel products, the Group plans to expand its design, manufacturing and trading of apparels business to become an all-rounded trendy apparel product manufacturer, tapping into the men and young adults markets. To align with its business development strategy and the vision of developing trendy culture apparel products, as well as to prepare for further developing trendy apparel business, the Group proposed its company name to be changed to "Virtual Mind Holding Company Limited" which was approved at the extraordinary general meeting on 25 March 2022. This will be implemented after the approval of the Registrar of Companies in the Cayman Islands.

Looking forward, the Group will promote the development of its apparel business from various aspects, and continuously develop a more diversified portfolio of trendy apparel and related products in order to open up new sales channels. In January 2022, the Group appointed the senior designer of the renowned world luxury product brand LVMH Group Dr. Zhou Yibing as Chief Creativity Officer, who will be responsible for managing the Group's product design team, developing its own brand trendy culture products and cross-over products with other brands, etc.

In addition, the Group constantly seeks to establish strategic cooperation relationship with other apparel enterprises. In January 2022, the Group has entered a strategic cooperation agreement with Qingdao Weiding Sports Supplies Company Limited, which is principally engaged in trendy sportswear and accessory products, with an aim of expanding the Group's business in the men's and women's sportswear market segment. The Group has also entered into a licensing agreement with Chengdu Dreamtoys Cultural Creativity Company Limited so as to explore the younger generation market. The Group was granted the exclusive right of use of the intellectual property (IP) right of four animated characters which will be used for the development, production and sales of apparel of the IP Characters. Furthermore, the Group is striving to explore crossover collaboration opportunities with other world-renowned brands, artists and designers, in order to build up self-developed brand image and further increase the variety of the self-developed brands and products.

In March this year, the Group entered into a sales and purchase agreement with world-renowned art brand Leblon-Delienne to purchase art collections and the relevant digital creation for Non-Fungible Token ("NFT") for market sales. This series of products was created by Mr. Jose Levy, the creative director of Hermes. We plan to invite famous Asian artists Mr. Takashi Murakami and Ms. Mika Ninagawa to participate in the re-creation in the future, therefore the art collection is expected to be of enormous collectable value. At the same time, young artists and fashion people from Asia, especially Hong Kong, will be invited to participate in its events, bringing vitality to the fashion capital of Asia.

Mr. Li Yang, Chairman and Executive Director of CEFC Financial said, "The Group has been deeply involved in the fashion design business for more than 20 years, and is committed to designing and producing high-quality fashion products. In view of the huge potential of the fashion apparel market, the management of the Group plans to gradually expand the trendy apparel manufacturing business, and strategically upgrade itself to become an all-rounded trendy apparel product supplier. The Group is confident in the prospects of its trendy apparel operation and we believe that the change of our company name will lead us to a new chapter. We expect that the economic activities will get back on the right track and the Group's business will experience optimistic growth after the pandemic. Looking forward, the Group will continue to focus on the development of trendy apparel with the strategic focus on the young market. We will also actively look for collaboration opportunities with different well-known brands and designers, in hopes of increasing the popularity of our own brand and seize the immense opportunities in global trendy apparel market in order to bring long-term returns for our shareholders."

About CEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company Limited
CEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company Limited (1520.HK) is principally engaged in (i) design, manufacturing and trading of apparel; and (ii) provision of money-lending business. The Group's apparel operation is classified into two categories, namely, private label products and own brand products. Private label products are those designed and manufactured under the private labels owned or specified by the Group's customers, while own brand products are those designed and manufactured under the Group's proprietary labels. To align with its business development strategy, the proposed change of Company name to "Virtual Mind Holding Company Limited" was approved at the extraordinary general meeting on 25 March 2022.

For more details, please visit www.cefcfi.com.hk


Copyright 2022 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.acnnewswire.comCEFC Hong Kong Financial Investment Company Limited ("CEFC Financial", together with its subsidiaries, "the Group", to be renamed as "Virtual Mind Holding Company Limited"; stock code: 1520.HK) is pleased to announce its audited consolidated results for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the "Year").

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