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Activation Group Holdings Limited (Stock code: 9919.HK) 2023 Annual Results Hit Record High with Net Profit More than Tripled

2023 Annual Results Highlight (For the year ended 31 December 2023)

  • Revenue increased 39.2% year-over-year (“YoY”) to a record-high of approximately (“approx.”) RMB967.2 million;
  • Gross profit increased 47.5% YoY to approx. RMB298.2 million; gross profit margin increased 1.7 percentage points to 30.8%;
  • Net profit surged 319.9% YoY to approx. RMB118.4 million, whereas profit attributable to owners of the parent surged 357.6% to approx. 108.0 million, both reaching record-high
  • Earnings per share increased by 361.1% YoY to RMB14.80 cents;
  • Proposed final dividend and special of HK6.16 cent and HK4.42 cents per share respectively, together with interim dividend of HK2.0 cents, would give a total dividend of HK12.58 cents per share for FY2023.

HONG KONG, March 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Activation Group Holdings Limited (“Activation Group” or the “Company”, together with its subsidiaries, the “Group”, stock code: 9919.HK), a leading marketing group for pan-fashion brands in Greater China, today announced its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2023 (“FY2023” or “Year”). 

Activation Group is a marketing group for pan-fashion brands in Greater China. According to the research report by China Insights Industry Consultancy Limited, the Group continues to be the largest experiential marketing service provider for premium and luxury brands in Greater China, ranked number one with a market share of 12.7% in 2023. The Group has served over 550 world-renowned branded clients, including renowned premium fashion brands such as CARTIER, CHANEL, DIOR, LOUIS VUITTON and GUCCI, for which it holds long-term partnerships, along with other mid-range and high-end automobile brands and Chinese local premium brands.

During the Year, due to the increasing importance of the Chinese luxury market as well as the post-pandemic rebound, there was a rising demand for the Group’s one-stop marketing services. As a result, the Group recorded a revenue of approx. RMB967.2 million (FY2022: approx. RMB694.8 million), representing an increase of 39.2% YoY. Benefitting from the increase in revenue and improving cost control, gross profit increased 47.5% YoY to approx. RMB298.2 million (FY2022: approx. RMB202.2 million), with gross profit margin increased by 1.7 percentage points to 30.8% (FY2022: 29.1%). Compounded by the stringent control on indirect costs, the Group reported a net profit of approx. RMB118.4 million for the Year, representing a 319.9% YoY growth as compared with approx. RMB28.2 million last year.

With the substantial improvement in profitability, the Group also paid an increasing emphasis on shareholders’ return. The Board recommends the payment of a final dividend of HK6.16 cents per ordinary share, along with a final special dividend HK4.42 cents per ordinary share. The proposed payout, together with the interim dividend of HK2.00 cents per ordinary share, would bring the total dividend for the Year to HK12.58 cents per ordinary share.

Business Review

Reaffirmed Market Leading Position with Increasing Market Share

In 2023, China’s stabilizing economy and the expansion of the consumer service industry have yielded considerable growth opportunities for the local marketing sector. Riding on its established market presence and excellent execution capability, the Group was able to capture the increase in demand. According to the research report by China Insights Industry Consultancy Limited, the Group retained its position as the largest experiential marketing service provider for mid-range and high-end fashion brands in Greater China in 2023, with its market share increasing from 6.3% in 2019 to 12.7% in 2023.

Geographical Extension to Open Further Market Opportunities

During the Year, the Group organized LOUIS VUITTON “Mens Pre-Fall 2024 Fashion Show” at the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong and “Women’s Pre-Fall 2023 Show” at the Jamsugyo Bridge in South Korea, marking the Group’s first step in the South Korean market. The success of the event once again highlights the Group’s expertise in integrated marketing services, with growing recognition among major brand names.

The Group’s experiential marketing focuses on planning content-rich and sensory-rich activities for brands, with the aim of allowing consumers to subconsciously gain an in-depth understanding of the brand’s history and culture, fostering a lasting emotional bond between consumers and the brand. Specifically, the Group held a number of events during the Year, including ARC’TERYX “Upwards Beauty” themed show, BOTTEGA VENETA Fall/Winter 2023-2024 Beijing Fashion Show, CARTIER “Cartier and Women” special exhibition, CINDY CHAO “The Art Jewel” Exhibition, COMME MOI “Fall/Winter 2023 Show”, DIOR “Autumn 2023 Collection Preview”, GUCCI “Gucci Cosmos” archive exhibition, LORO PIANA “Summer Resort 2023 Collection” pop-up store, LOUIS VUITTON “Women’s Pre-Fall 2023 Show” in Korea and “Mens Pre-Fall 2024 Fashion Show” in Hong Kong, MERCEDES-BENZ “All-new EQE pure electric SUV launch in China” festival, OPPO “Find X6 Series Launch Event”, SWAROVSKI “Masters of Light” Exhibition, and more. The success of these events has once again proved the Group’s expertise in experiential marketing services.

One-stop Marketing Services to Drive Business Sustainability

To boost client stickiness and financial performance, the Group strived to leverage its industry know-how to offer one-stop marketing services to its customers. In addition to customized, large-scale offline events, the Group also offered additional value-added services to its customers, including promotional services on social media platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, Facebook, Instagram, etc. alongside live streaming and interactive discussions, successfully captured the attention of hundreds of millions of viewers online.

The bundled solution, not only allows customers to raise their brand profile and expand their reach in the Greater China market, but also, allows the Group to attract new customers, or upsell its existing customers with its comprehensive services. During the Year, some brands that first started with the Group’s digital and communication services have also expanded their scope to involve experiential marketing services, leading to solidified relationships with such very important customers (VIC). In the future, the Group will strive to further capture such opportunities, bringing additional financial contributions to the Group, and strengthening its relationships with customers, laying a solid foundation of future performances.

IP Development Business to Bring Further Growth Impetus

The Group also owns long-term exclusive operating rights for a number of IPs, including Shanghai Design Week, D UNIVERSE, West Bund Orbit, Le Tour de France and LaLiga Club. By leveraging the Group’s in-depth marketing knowledge and excellent local support, the Group was able to nurture the aforesaid IPs, and to help them generating sustainable values that would go beyond marketing. In particular, the Shanghai Design Week IP successfully held multiple events in China and overseas, including the “18th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia Pavilion of the P.R. China“, “2023 Made in Shanghai Expo”, “Shanghai Design Week – Design Express à Shanghai“, and “2023 World Design Cities Conference (WDCC)”. Meanwhile, West Bund Orbit officially commenced operation in November 2023, with a number of activities already being held despite its rather short tenure. Throughout 2023, the Group also proactively planned for the Le Tour de France cycling event, and a number of cycling matches are expected to launch in major tourist cities in the coming years.

Outlook

According to the latest report from Bain & Company, the Chinese market continues to solidify its position as the preferred destination for global luxury consumption, and holds strategic importance for luxury brands worldwide. The report indicates that by 2030, China is poised to become the leading luxury market globally, with Chinese consumers potentially capturing a global market share of 35–40%, and the Chinese market contributions would increase to 24–26%, outpacing the US and Western Europe markets. Such development should attract major luxury brands to increase their marketing efforts in the Greater China region, opening further opportunities to the Group’s one-stop marketing services.

Mr. Lau Kam Yiu, Joint-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Activation Group, said, “Looking ahead, we will strive to maintain our leading position in luxury experiential marketing. Through our enhanced one-stop marketing services, we intend to acquire more new clients and further boost our market shares. Particular focus will be given to the spirits and beauty products sectors, which have huge potential but only account for 5.3% of the Group’s revenue. The move should allow us to open up new revenue streams, diversify our current portfolio, and further fast-track our financial growth. In addition to sub-sector participations, we also retain the utmost confidence that our operational model can be replicated to other regions, considering our success in other countries in the APAC region. Our IP Development business should also have a bright prospect with growing financial contributions, supported by the strong IP of Shanghai Design Week, “West Bund Orbit” and Le Tour de France. All in all, the above initiatives should all gear us towards a brighter near future.  

Last but not least, we prioritize shareholders’ returns by declaring a final dividend and a final special dividend. Once approved at the 2024 AGM, together with the interim dividend declared, FY2023 total dividend would reach approx. HK$93.69 million. We will continue to maintain our stable dividend payout policy, delivering sustainable values to shareholders.”

About Activation Group Holdings Limited

Activation Group Holdings Limited (9919.HK) is a leading marketing Group for pan-fashion brands in Greater China, focusing on providing i) experiential marketing services, ii) digital and communication services, and iii) IP development in Greater China region. The Group served more than 550 world-renowned branded clients, including (i) renowned premium fashion brand, (ii) renowned premium automobile brand and (iii) local Chinese brand. Headquartered in Shanghai, the Group was listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 16 January 2020. According to the information from China Insights Industry Consultancy Limited, the Group continues to be the largest experiential marketing service provider for premium brands in Greater China in 2023, ranked number one with a market share of 12.7%.

 

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