Grand Strategy of Popular Holding

Grand Strategy of Popular Holding POPULAR use growth strategy that involves expansion in sales revenues, number of customers, number of employees to accomplish the holding’s mission. POPULAR is making fast and extensive inroads into the Greater China market, especially in China and Taiwan. Their business activities cover many major cities and provinces in China such as Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Taipei. POPULAR also grow their business in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Canada. POPULAR has the network, content and the platform to grow their business and expand into new products, markets and businesses.

The three main core businesses which are retail & distribution, publishing, and e-learning enable popular has become an established household name in book and stationary retailing. Publishing is a complementary business that acquired by POPULAR which is one of the growth strategies. POPULAR is gradually being recognized as an essential element in the book and publishing world in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In publishing, POPULAR publish text book, supplementary book or general book.

In year 2006, POPULAR introduced HARRIS Bookstore which is a new brand that focus on English books. POPULAR are planning and introducing a new series of English children readers, titled ROBIN with i-pen readability and published by POPULAR UK Pte Limited. POPULAR also strive to transform themselves from a regional publisher to an international publishing group. Through POPULAR Canada, its Math Smart series has introduced into the United States. At the same time, they are looking closely at the UK market for potential business opportunities.

In Hong Kong, most of the syllabuses for primary school are changed, except for the subject Putonghua. To consolidate leadership of position in the pre-primary textbook market, POPULAR adopt two sets of textbooks in September 2007 school year. Pan Llotds Publisher Limited specializing in supplementary books in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong students have to prepare for two assessment tests, Pan Lloyds respond to this market need by launching two assessment series, namely HKAT Mock & Intensive Practices Series and TSA Mock & Assorted Practice Series.

In Singapore, Educational Publishing House Pte Ltd is the top assessment publisher with emphasis on primary school titles. They are beginning to publish more secondary titles. In Malaysia, EPH Publishing (M) Sdn. Bhd. , is gearing up to double the supplementary titles to be published for year 2008. To strengthen the publishing and retail & distribution divisions, POPULAR plan to publish more visually attractive full-color books, such as picture dictionaries, for toddlers and pre-primary school market.

In expanding publishing activities, POPULAR synergize it with e-leaning business and retail & distribution business. Armed with their vast content library and publishing resources, publishing support the retail & distribution, as well as the e-learning business by providing them with relevant, unique and excellent contents with highly scalable contents. POPULAR aim to be the most innovative publisher of bilingual books. In retail &distribution, POPULAR introduce POPULAR membership card and give a lot of promotion to attract more buyers so that the sales revenue and number of customers can be expanded.

Members can enjoy 20%* discount on POPULAR Choice & POPULAR Recommendation titles; 10% discount on all regular-priced merchandise at all POPULAR bookstore in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and HARRIS Bookstores as well as CD-RAMA Department in Malaysia only; and 5% discount off of school and tertiary textbooks. Members can get discount at POPULAR connection as well. POPULAR connection is a reward program designed for members to enjoy discount and privileges at participating merchants’ stores such as Bossini (apparel), Icekimo (food), Norman (IT), Sunway Hotel (leisure), Optic Point (optical) and so forth.

POP CLUB Magazine launched in year 2003. POPULAR will give POP CLUB magazine to for POPULAR Card Members and walk-in customers. With outlets peppered throughout Malaysia, vouchers can be redeem. POPULAR Gift Voucher is available in denomination of RM5, RM10 and RM50. To increase more sales revenue and number of customers, POPULAR also always organize many activities such as book fair, talk session, sharing session and so on. In june 2007, POPULAR opened POPULAR@MegaBox, the largest single floor bookstore in Hong Kong to propel the awareness of POPULAR in Hong Kong’s retail book scene.

Besides that, Popular also co-operate with Sin Chew Media Corporation and MCA Life Long Learning Secretariat to organize BookFest@Malaysia. BookFest@Malaysia is an annual mega event that has grown to be one of the region’s largest international book fairs, since its inception in 2006. The inaugural BookFest @ Malaysia which commenced in 2006 witnessed 320,000 visitors. It welcomed an overwhelming crowd which passed that benchmark and exceeded 400,000 visitors in the following year.

In 2008, the annual event had proven to be yet another successful exposition with figures close to half a million. In Kuala Lumpur, POPULAR successfully staged BookFest@Malaysia 2007, in May 2007. In year 2008, there are more activities are carried out in the BookFest. Some of the special highlights for last year BookFest were: Olympics Exhibition, 11 overseas authors’ appearance, music performances by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Readers’ Choice Award Presentation Ceremony, Book Recycling Campaign, Calligraphy Competition and many more.

In Singapore, popular staged BookFest@Singapore 2007 in December 2007. They are looking at opportunities to introduce popular’s version of BookFest to other cities in East Asia, particularly in Taiwan, which is second to mainland China in Chinese book publishing and sale. The e-learning business and prospect have gradually changed. Education is relying more and more on the use of IT for teaching and learning. Nowadays, users are more focused on how the evolving technology can improve their learning and education. POPULAR take this advantage to expand its operation.

The Group’s e-learning business has grasped this opportunity to work closely with our retail & distribution and publishing, to provide direct value-add services to its products, like the i-pen function in our successful in-house brand, ROBIN Readers. The e-learning division continues to play an important strategic role in the Group by providing our publishing business with the advanced digital publishing technologies. POPULAR expand its business by establishing CD-RAMA and One-2-Buy. CD-RAMA retail various type of music, movie, drama in form of CD, VCD and DVD.

One-2-Buy retail daily essentials ranging from personal care products, toiletries to light food stuff. POPULAR no longer a mere bookshop but a multi-purpose shop whereby customers can now shop for daily essentials and entertainment products. To expand the number of employees, POPULAR provide many benefits to the employees. Employees only have to work five days per week. Training and career advancement opportunities are given to the employees. Transport, laundry, attendance allowances and uniforms will be provided. Employees can enjoy 15% discount with any purchase in POPULAR.

POPULAR is entering into a new business segment through a new subsidiary; POPULAR Land Pte Ltd. POPULAR Land Pte Ltd has purchased two residential properties which are 1 Robin Road and 18 Shelford Road for development of up-market residential units. They are also looking into commercial property business opportunities as well as for the potential future self-use. With using the strategies that mentioned above, POPULAR has ranked fifth in the Fastest Growing Singapore Brands’ category of The Singapore Brand Award 2006 organized by International Enterprise Singapore. POPULAR also has some 200 strategic alliance bookshops in the region.

It is recognized and listed by the Malaysian Book of Records, as the largest bookstore chain in Malaysia. During the 9 months ended 31 January 2009, the Group turnover grew from $341. 8m for the same period of last year to $349. 4m representing an increase of 2. 3% whilst the Group profit before tax (“PBT”) decreased by 20. 0% from $24. 1m for the same period of last year to $19. 3m for the current financial period ended 31 January 2009. The Group has generated positive cash flow of $10. 8m from its operating activities and a net increase of $26. 2m, which includes gross proceeds of $19. m recently raised from the Rights Issue. POPULAR’s turnover increased 9. 2% from S$398. 2 million to S$435. 0 million because of the opening of new retail outlets. Operating profits of the publishing and e-learning segments were the key contributors to an increase in Group profit – boosted largely by higher margins of the reprinted titles and the growth in supplementary book sales – the Group’s profit after tax rose 18. 3% from S$11. 3 million to S$13. 4 million. Based on the latest Financial Year results, POPULAR’s earnings per share increased from 2. 58 Singapore cents to 2. 99 Singapore cents.

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