Looking back on 2021, amid complex domestic and international situations and various risks and challenges, China has consistently executed deep-rooted macro policies with a high level of openness, a flexible monetary policy and moderate liquidity. The stable macro environment in China provided favorable external conditions for the Group's sustainable and steady development during the period. In 2021, the Group recorded a total revenue of approximately RMB33.64 billion, achieving a rapid year-on-year growth of 15.85%. The financial and advisory segment maintained steady growth. Structurally, financial services continued to grow but the advisory services slightly declined. The industrial operation segment grew exponentially by 29.78%. Profit for the period attributable to the holders of ordinary shareholders of the Group during the period under review was approximately RMB5.51 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 20.47%. The basic earnings per share was 1.36 RMB per share, and the average return on equity (ROE) was 14.57%. Overall, the Group has achieved a rapid growth. The board of directors of the Group passed the proposal of recommending a final dividend for year 2021 of HKD $0.42 per share.
During the period under review, the Group's financial structure continued to be optimized, and the non-leasing business accounted for 48.75% of total revenue (before taxes and surcharges), which continued to increase from 46.90% in 2020. Interest income contributed by new businesses such as inclusive finance, commercial factoring, PPP investment, overseas financing, and asset business accounted for 5.49% (2020: 3.54%); revenue from advisory services accounted for 9.41% (2020: 13.15%); the industrial operation segment accounted for 33.85% (2020: 30.21%).
Deep Rooted Growth in Financial Leasing Is Realized alongside Rapid Expansion in Other Financial Services
In terms of financial and advisory segment, the Group continued to penetrate in nine key industries, continued to enhance the service value, and accurately controlled the pace of business development, achieving growth in annual operating performance and customer base. For business operation, the iterative service model has been continuously upgraded, and more than 100 regional business units have been fully mobilized to track and tap over 100,000 target customers. Operationally, it will enhance service coverage and response time. Also, it will improve the efficiency of the entire project process through technological empowerment and project management. Based on the Group's resource endowment and system advantages, the product enhances the flexibility of multiple products and serves the diversified financing needs of different scenarios, different stages, and different customers. At the same time, services such as inclusive finance, PPP investment, asset management, overseas financing, and PE investment continued to amplify the growth. The boundaries of business formats continued to expand, and incremental value is shown.
In 2021, revenue (before taxes and surcharges) of the financial and advisory segment revenue was RMB 22.35 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.77%, accounting for 66.15% of the total revenue (before taxes and surcharges). Among them, new businesses such as inclusive finance, factoring, PPP investment, overseas financing, and asset management contributed RMB 1.86 billion in interest income, a year-on-year increase of 79.78%.
In 2021, the Group's net interest spread was 3.21%, an increase of 36 basis points from 2.85% in the previous year. The increase in net interest spread was mainly due to a decrease of 22 basis point in the average cost of the Group's interest-bearing liabilities, while the average yield on interest-earning assets increased by 14 basis points.
The Group has consistently implemented a stable asset management policy and adopt a strict and conservative asset classification policy. At the end of 2021, the Group's assets under special mention accounted for 8.09%, a decrease of 1.47% from 9.56% in the same period last year. During the reporting period, asset quality has been improved. The non-performing asset ratio of the Group decreased slightly, and the overall asset quality was stable and controllable. The non-performing asset ratio in 2021 was 1.06%, a decrease of 4 basis points from 1.10% in 2020.
Rapidly Growing Industrial Operations Segment Enables New Pathways for Future Development
For industrial operation segment, in line with the national and regional coordinated development and the long-term goal of building a healthy China, Horizon Construction Development and Horizon Health have developed steadily. The revenue contribution of both business continues to rise. Both have become national leaders and achieved better social influence in terms of their scales. With the successful implantation of the Group's industrial operation strategy, revenues from the industrial operation segment maintained to grow exponentially. The industrial operation segment including Horizon Construction Development and Horizon Health achieved a total revenue (before taxes and surcharges) of RMB 11.43 billion, a year-on-year increase of 29.78% from the same period last year.
Horizon Construction and Development is one of the largest equipment operation service providers in China, with diversified equipment and strong service capabilities. As a comprehensive equipment operation service provider in China, Horizon Construction Development was awarded the fourth place in the Top 50 Global Aerial Work Platform Leasing Companies in 2021 and the 24th in IRN World's Top 100 Rental Companies in 2021. In 2021, Horizon Construction Development have participated in on-site support projects such as the Beijing Winter Olympics venues, Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, Beijing Daxing International Airport, China-Laos Railway, Beijing-Zhangjiakou High-speed Railway, Jingli Expressway and other projects, the centennial celebration of the founding of the Communist Party, the West Safety Games, the Shanghai International Import Expo.
At the same time, Horizon Construction and Development also actively participating in flood control and emergency rescue and epidemic prevention and control in many places. The efficient and professional service ability has been fully recognized by the market, and the brand awareness has been widely improved.
Horizon Construction and Development has scaled up its operations and strengthened its competitive advantages. As of the end of 2021, the number of service outlets reached 299, covering 182 cities. Its three major businesses of aerial work platform, new support system and new formwork system have all been leading in the market.
As of December 31, 2021, the total revenue of Horizon Construction and Development was RMB6.14 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 67.63%. Net profit was RMB 709.62 million, a year-on-year increase of 43.83%.
Horizon Healthcare is a large-scale social capital-run hospital group in China, dedicated to providing high-quality medical care accessible to everyone and building a century-old health brand. It consistently implements the management and operation model of "one system, one network, one hospital", fully takes advantages of the scale effects, builds a standardized operational network, and delivers a high-level medical rehabilitation and elder care resources to the vast number of people across the country.
As of the end of 2021, the number of controlled hospitals was 29 hospitals and the number of beds available was about 11,000. Horizon Healthcare forms a nationwide hospital operation network covering East China, South China, North China, Southwest China, Northeast China, and other regions. In the second half of 2021, new hospitals have been opened such as Siping Cancer Hospital, Nayong Xinli Hospital and Deyang No. 5 Hospital Zhongjiang Branch.
In line with the expansion of the hospital scale and the opening of new hospitals, the Group has also actively been hiring and retaining the talents of medical scientists. With the full operation of the new hospitals, the Group expects the gross profit will further improve in the future. During the period under review, the hospital operation business achieved revenue of approximately RMB4.00 billion, representing an increase of 16.13% over the same period of the previous year. Net profit reached 143.47 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 24.22%.
Diversified Financial Channels and Cost of Capital Show Competitive Advantage
As of December, 2021, the total sum of the Group's interest-bearing bank and other borrowings amounted to RMB 230.20 billion, representing an increase of 12.17%, which was mainly due to the increase in interest income caused by supporting the Group's business expansion.
During the period, in the face of the complicated financial environment at home and overseas, the Group adhered to the established strategy of "finance + industry" and made good progress in both indirect financing and direct financing. With an improved liability structure, the Group's financing costs have been maintained a clear advantage as compared to the peers.
In the direct financing market, the Group further enriched the bond portfolios, optimized product structure, introduced new innovative products such as renewable corporate bonds, short-term corporate bonds, asset-backed commercial papers, and reduced overall costs. The Group issued 3.09 billion green asset backed securities (ABS) in April 2021. The basic assets include 42 green projects such as photovoltaic power generation, solar power generation, urban landscaping, sewage treatment, etc. The Group consistently has practiced the concept of green development and motivated the sustainable development of the real economy. In November 2021, it successfully issued the first 150 million renewable development bond in the domestic market.
In the indirect financing market, the Group has strengthened the cooperation partnership with key banks based on existing financing channels in accordance with the company's strategic development needs. In June 2021, the Group successfully signed a USD 450 million overseas green club loan agreement with eight banks including Sumitomo Mitsui, Standard Chartered Bank and OCBC Bank, etc. for the field of renewable energy, pollution treatment, high-efficiency energy, etc.
In addition, the Group also maintained its advantages in cost control. In 2021, the Group's average cost ratio was 4.41%, a decrease of 22 basis points compared with the cost in 2020.
Mr. KONG Fanxing, Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO said: "Looking back on 2021, under the guidance of the "Finance + Industry" strategic framework, the Group successfully completed various business objectives. As China's internal and external environments have undergone profound changes, China's economy will enter a new stage of development in the future. The Group will continue to adhere to the established strategy, closely leverage the Chinese economy, consistently serve the real economy, continuously innovate service methods, enrich service methods, and improve service capabilities. For financial and advisory segment, we will continue to upgrade the traditional financial services business based on deep analysis of the various industries and customers. By taking advantage of the company's existing resource, we will expand new service methods and improve the overall comprehensive service capabilities in respect of the new businesses. In terms of industrial operations, Horizon Construction and Development will reinforce its leading position in the market and enhance management capabilities and operational efficiency. Under the operational model of "One System, One Network and One Hospital", Horizon Healthcare will strengthen its management, improve operational efficiency, and achieve long-term sustainable development. We believe the Group will create greater value for its shareholders, customers, partners, employees, government and other social parties."
Source: Far East Horizon Limited
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