The manufacturing and distribution segment remains pivotal to the business of the Group. Despite the challenges on various fronts, the transformation of this segment since 2018 has been rewarding. The noteworthy elevation of production capability of our manufacturing plant (in particular, tripled production capacity, significant quality improvement and shortened delivery lead-time) has strengthened our market foothold as well as assisted in our efforts in acquiring and retaining customers. Over the past year, we have been constantly innovating and improving our production process and product delivery through technological means. We invested in cost-effective technological solutions, where we acquired robotics and automated welding machines to drive business value and modernise production facilities. All these efforts contribute in paving the way for our journey toward expansion to overseas markets such as Europe and China, which began last year and is still at its infancy stage.
Our innovation efforts have also been directed at expanding our product offerings by leveraging our expertise in environmental solutions and our multi-functional research and development team. Our research into new products (such as the ecoflow venturi damper) has started to gain recognition.
Our Information Communication Technologies (“ICT”) business, although roiled by market instability, has gained traction; it is particularly significant that our business (built up over the years through sectoral expansion) has received an order for an overseas project involving the supply and installation of audio-visual equipment (representing a first foray into foreign markets). We continue to receive not only significant recognition from our major customers but also downstream support from our key equipment distributors and OEM suppliers, thereby helping to build up our value chain and competitive advantage and set us apart from the ever-increasing competition. The market recognition and credibility gained by our efforts over the years allow us to set our sights on bidding for larger scale projects, as well as gain access to other sectors such as construction and education.[/vc_column_text]
We are cautiously optimistic in our business outlook for 2020 amid the economic environment which remains unpredictable and volatile. The full extent of the implications of the geopolitical tensions, economic volatility and possible economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak remain to be seen. However, with industry players expressing optimism over the 5G network and other technological developments, these may drive demand in the microprocessor and related industries. In addition, we hope to see the revival of some projects which had been put on hold or stalled in 2019.
We will continue to execute our strategy in terms of business transformation, product improvements and diversifications, and bolting on new capabilities and competencies, in order to utilise a multipronged approach to diversify our revenue streams and improve profitability. Further, given the rise of our ICT business, we will be exploring opportunities and forging partnerships, with a view to expanding our product offerings and solutions as well as enhancing our value proposition to our customers and partners. Despite the headwinds, we will remain focused on sharpening our competencies and strengthening our foundation.