Despite a rather uncertain global economic environment, GDEX has continued to grow its express delivery service business steadily during the period under review. For financial year end 30 June 2013, I am pleased to report that the Group registered a turnover of RM135.2 million compared to RM116.3 million, an increase of 16%. Group profit before tax also improved 57% to RM19.3 million from RM12.2 million while Group profit after tax increased by 56% to RM13.6 million from RM8.7 million a year ago. Amidst the era of quantitative easing and a generally pessimistic world economy, the results demonstrated continuous support from our customers and hard work by our dedicated staff.
For the year under review, we upgraded the frontline couriers and equipped them with mobile devices for scanning shipments. This ensures vital customers' shipment information are captured at the point of pickup and transmitted to HQ for verification and for more secured handling.
We have beefed up our manpower from 1,826 to 2,013 to ensure our service quality matches with the growth in operations. Our fleet size increased to 397 from 335 while our carrying tonnage increased to 807 tons from 684 tons.
Our network infrastructure has been enhanced further to 110 stations comprising 57 branches, 2 affiliates and 51 agents, from 103 stations a year ago. In total, RM9.01 million was spent on the upgrades and capital expenditure.
We continue to provide training to our people to enhance their skills and knowledge as part of our "continuous improvement" process. Due to the implementation of the Multimedia Remote Learning programme last year, we are no longer confined by time or geographical constraints in training our people. This has enabled our staff to undergo 31,453 hours of training compared to 25,468 hours in the previous year.
The continued investment in processes, infrastructure and manpower is deemed essential as we prepare for greater operational challenges and the move up to the next level of competition by providing cost efficient and high quality service.
As our operation expands, so do our corporate social responsibilities - in the Marketplace, the Workplace, the Community and the Environment around us. We continue to place emphasis on these four key areas as they are vital to the corporate philosophy and sustainability of the Group as business becomes more inclusive and challenging in the coming years.
In the Marketplace, we continue to refine and develop our express delivery service products to meet the fast evolving expectations of the consumer. We have introduced various value added services to complement our express delivery service.
In the Workplace, apart from the implementation of various training programmes to the front liner, executive and management staff to enhance their skill set, the Group also organized safety activities like fire drills and defensive driving for the drivers. A recreation room with various indoor games and amenities was also built last year to enable employees to mingle and de-stress after a hard day's work.
We continue to engage the Community through the GDEX Blood Donation Drive, now in its ninth year running. The blood donation drive netted a total of 307 pints of blood for the National Blood Bank.
GDEX scholarship programme helps deserving students to complete their college or university studies. GDEX Internship programme provides students with an opportunity to work with GDEX during their semester breaks. During the year, the Group provided a total of 5 scholarships and took in 38 interns.
On the environmental side, the Group has successfully incorporated the ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System with its ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System. The integration of the two systems enables the Group to carry out environment friendly activities such as the 3Rs (Reuse, Recycle and Reduce) of its waste materials. It also provides a strict regime in scheduled wastes disposal.
The Group now requires all GDEX vehicles to switch off its engines to reduce carbon emissions and fuel waste which occur when the engines are left idling during the en-route delivery and pick-up of shipments.
The Group finalized the establishment of the GDEX Foundation during the year reviewed. Set-up to look after the welfare of the community, the Foundation received a total of RM3 million as capital to start the ball rolling. The Group also donated RM100,000.00 as the start-up fund.
With the liberalization of the service sector, a few regional express carriers had entered the Malaysian market to compete aggressively for a share of the domestic express delivery market. What used to be a "sure thing" in the express industry is no longer a guarantee for survival today. We need to constantly evolve, improve our service quality and provide a wider range of service products to compete with the foreign players. Otherwise, we will be overwhelmed by their superior technology, high service standards, wide product range and huge capital outlay.
To prepare the people for a higher level of competition, the Group has embarked on a major management reshuffle. At the board level, the directors had redesignated me as Managing Director/Group CEO. Many of the departments have been reorganized to facilitate a more seamless connectivity with each other to improve speed in execution and cost efficiency. This exercise to streamline and strengthen the various departments will continue to be top priority for the coming years so as to enable us to develop more talents and defend our market position. It will also improve our ability to replicate ourselves in other markets at the same time.
As the competition moves up another notch, the Group has to further strengthen the mindset of its people. The GDEX culture of continuous improvement has to be reinforced in all areas of operations. To ensure the KPIs of the company are properly set and targets met, internal competitions for higher performance will be encouraged. This would further put complacency in check.
With the entrance of more regional express delivery players, the customers now have more choice of service providers. We need to develop more value added services and continue to look at ways to make us more customer-centric. We will be setting up more lodgein centres for the convenience and accessibility to our customers.
We had submitted the applications for transfer to the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia with the assistance of our merchant bank, and other advisors. The transfer and listing of GDEX shares on the Main Market was completed on 5 August 2013. This transfer not only enhanced the prestige and reputation of the Group, it also increased the confidence of our customers, suppliers, bankers, business partners, employees and shareholders.
The transfer to the Main Market also signifies the growth of our Group in the form of its scale of operations, as well as its profitability in meeting the profit track record requirements of the regulators. We hope the transfer to Main Market would also result in greater recognition and acceptance by investors, including institutional investors, to reflect our Group's current level of operations.
I would like to thank the Board of Directors for their guidance. My gratitude also goes to my fellow colleagues for their hard work and commitment. In particular, I would like to express my appreciation to Leong Chee Tong, our former Chief Executive Officer, who has contributed immensely to the growth of the Group in the last 13 years of his tenure in GDEX. I would also like to thank our customers, vendors, business service partners and government agencies for their support.
I look forward to further progress and improvement in GDEX. I am confident that we will move closer to our goal of becoming the leading express carrier in Malaysia and the region if we continue to work hard and keep our focus to win customer support.