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Group Lease announces consolidated net loss due to legal costs and conservative impairments, but big legal wins and profitable Thailand performance forecast good results for 2020

02 Mar 2020

Group Lease Public Company Limited reported 2019 net loss of 21.61 million baht after using this year to win legal battles and restate smart growth in Thailand and Cambodia

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, said “at GL we have two business hands, one for Thailand and one for our international businesses that fall under our Singapore subsidiary. Due to both our hands being attacked by JTrust with the Thai rehabilitation case and Singapore civil case, we had to decrease our portfolio especially in Thailand and Cambodia. However, we achieved a big win in August 2019 when the Thai Bankruptcy Court dismissed the rehabilitation case. That allowed us to grow our Thai business and we saw a meaningful increase in sales in the fourth quarter. Just this month we won the Singapore case as well, which has freed our international hand. With both hands now free and more than 3 billion in cash, we expect 2020 to be a very good year for us.”

Mr. Alain Jean Pascal Dufes, Chief Financial Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, revealed that “while the Company lost 21.61 million in 2019—we improved in Thai operations by more than 79 million. Thai operations (not including group costs such as financing, professional fees, and exchange rates) improved to 537 million from 458 million. We are extremely happy with the improvement and performance of our Thai business during this year especially under these uncertain macroeconomic conditions. For the group, revenue declined by 340 million or 12% compared to 2018 while service and administration expenses, excluding professional fees, decreased by 154 million or 13%. The negatives are that we recorded more than 174 million in legal expense (more than 100% increase) and a non-cash 135 million impairment for our investment in Bank JTrust, the same JTrust group we have our lawsuits with. The legal expenses and impairment in Bank JTrust reduced profit by nearly 310 million and is the reason for our loss this year.”

Mr. Tatsuya Konoshita, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lease Public Company Limited, stated “2019 involved us continuing to fight JTrust in multiple countries as well as try to make our business operations profitable and grow again. While we fought JTrust in Singapore this past year, we found out earlier this month that we won. We are continuing to prepare to again fight JTrust in Thailand and we look forward to getting the same result. As our CFO Alain discussed, we have made our business operations more efficient and have improved significantly in Thailand and Cambodia—our two oldest and largest markets. Unfortunately, those improvements for now are hidden in our net profit number due to legal fees and impairments related to JTrust. Legal costs should start to decline since we won the Singapore case, but we will start to fight back against JTrust and claim for the damages and expenses they have caused us with their unjustified legal actions. We strongly believe in our business and our opportunities and we expect 2020 to not just be a great year for us legally, but to be a great year for us profit wise as well since our hands are now free.