Chairman Statement

In 2023, the economy in the mainland has achieved its full-year target, with the total retail sales of consumer goods recording a significant growth; however, there are still many hidden concerns in the overall business environment with the slow pace of economic recovery. In the face of opportunities and difficulties, Symphony Group is engaged in operations with a prudent and stable attitude.

The Group mainly runs “Park Outlets”, its retail business,on the model of “Outlets + Community Malls” in the mainland. The outlets, located in Xiamen, Shenyang and Anyang, offer a variety of luxurious fashionable, outdoor and sports brands for shopping and leisure. Community malls, located in Tianjin and Chongqing, provide residents with daily necessities. “Park Outlets” has capitalized on the opportunities brought by the internal circulation and recorded double-digit growth in the number of visitors and purchases compared with the same period last year in both Xiamen and Shenyang in 2023. During the period, the number of membership of the two “Park Outlets” increased significantly by more than 50%, and the consumption contribution of membership accounted for more than half of the total. A number of fashion and restaurant chains chose to set up their first outlet stores at Xiamen “Park Outlets” in Fujian Province. In order to cultivate an environment that stimulates consumption, outlets re-planned the space inside the venue with an addition of more shops and large cross-floor stores, to enrich the shopping experience for visitors. The results of online promotion were remarkable, with the number of fans of Douyin increased four times over the number of the previous year, and the registration number of WeChat Mall increased by more than 80% over the number of the previous year. The performance of the community shopping mall remained stable during the year, and the policy of positioning itself as a “residents’ lifestyle square” brought stable income for the business. The merchant combination of supermarkets, educational clubs, specialty restaurants, etc. created a scenario of “daily one-stop consumption” for residents and continued to attract nearby family customers with high consumption capacity.

The Group owns diversified brand business and currently operates SKINS, the world’s first compression sportswear brand, health care business of Supremium Bio-technology Limited (“SBT”) and Hakuryu, the Japanese sake. SKINS formed a joint venture with ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU”), one of the largest general trading companies in Japan, to conduct joint operation. After several years of operation, a stable sales network has been established. Last year, the Group acquired more interests in the joint ventures, which promoted further improvement of operating efficiency. Although the competition in the global compression garment market becomes fierce, the Group adjusted its business strategies in a timely manner, and actively developed a network of partners available in various regions to seek for the healthy development of the brands.

For SBT, which focuses on the local health care market, is mainly engaged in R & D, production and distribution of health care products. At present, it has 40 own brands and 80 customer brands, and its products are available in 700 pharmacies and duty-free shops in Hong Kong. Benefited from the full resumption of normal travel and the simultaneous optimization of sales network, the demand for major products has increased significantly, and annual sales have recorded observable growth.

In addition, the Group developed the Japanese sake business in the early years, invested in Yoshida Brewery, which has a history of 200 years and launched two products with different orientations. Despite the difficult business environment in the retail and catering industry, brands plan step by step, with a gradual increasing in market share.

The Group’s financial business has been well established in Hong Kong for many years, mainly providing margin financing, underwriting and placing, consultancy services and lending. Over the past year, the capital market environment in Hong Kong has been rife with uncertainties, such as reduced capital inflows, high interest rates and weak turnover in the capital market. In the face of the fast-changing market, the Group demonstrates the well management of risks, continues to serve customers in a professional spirit, and maintains the healthy and steady development of its business.

The Group is firmly rooted and will plan for the future in a pragmatic manner, maximizing value for stakeholders in the pursuit of success while maintaining stability. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our shareholders, employees, banks, customers and business partners for their consistent trust and support.