Throughout the past four years, competition in the construction market has been increasingly severe, and this has resulted in a steady and prolonged decline in tender margins. Fortunately, the latter part of the year saw the start of the tendering process for a number of major infrastructure projects, particularly double-track rail, with further projects due to be rolled out in 2018. The Company intends to make strenuous and sustained efforts to secure a reasonable share of these major infrastructure projects in the medium to long term. However, the Company has positive prospects for 2018 due to the expected capital investments in the Thai economy both, from the private sector as well as the government which is making great efforts in improving the public transportation infrastructure all over the nation and the proposed development of the eastern economic corridor (EEC).
In the coming years, the main focus of the Company will be to secure new contracts to increase the backlog year by year in line with target levels, and to achieve prolonged and sustainable growth in construction income and net profit. In addition, the Company will continue to improve and strengthen the business and reduce construction costs to become more efficient and competitive. The Company will continue with its programme of on-site skills training for workers, specialist training for project managers and site staff, and English language tuition for all site and Head Office staff. The Company sees this continuous training to improve skills as a key necessity over the long term. The Company has largely completed its programme to upgrade Company-owned plant, equipment and formwork systems, so as to provide an increasingly efficient and cost effective service to worksites.
In anticipation of better prospects ahead, I thank the shareholders and our clients for their confidence and support and, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I express sincere thanks also to the management, staff and all employees of the Company for their hard work, loyalty and determination throughout the past year.