The Company achieved a satisfactory financial result in 2016. Construction income and net profit both slightly exceeded internal targets for the year, set to take into account market conditions.
Throughout the year, competition in the construction market remained severe, and this resulted in depressed tender margins. Fortunately, the latter part of the year saw the start of the tendering process for a number of major infrastructure projects, with further projects due to be rolled out in 2017. The Company, in joint ventures with international contractors, participated in this process but, so far, without success. The Company intends to make strenuous and sustained efforts to secure a reasonable share of the major infrastructure projects in the medium to long term. The prevailing economic situation has seen a markedly negative impact on the private sector, a substantial decrease in foreign investments, with consequential adverse effects on the industrial sector as well as the construction market. This situation could well continue to the end of this year, and possibly longer.
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 will also continue to upgrade Companyowned plant, equipment and falsework systems, so as to provide increasingly efficient and cost effective services to worksites.
With good 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.