We ask for the forbearance and understanding of our shareholders and business partners, as 2014 was virtually flat in terms of revenue and profits - while costs continued to creep up.
We made strenuous attempts to grow sales volume across the archipelago, with faint success. Discounts and price cuts failed to grow volume enough to make them worthwhile. While we managed to barely stay in the black, 2014 has not turned out as we had hoped a year ago, in terms of recovering sales and profits.
The Presidential election of 2014 was of some concern, as it could have been marred by instability; in the event it went off very smoothly, as evidence of a new era of stability and continuity in Indonesian politics and society.
Thus the world of business was able to progress, allowing remarkable progress in the context of global indecision and deflationary threats.
After holding its own for a number of years the Indonesian Rupiah succumbed to both internal and external pressures, and experienced the most devaluation it has faced in over a decade. We wish to commend the efforts of Bank Indonesia (BI) in defusing several potentially dangerous situations, as BI worked to minimize inflation while encouraging economic growth.
Benchmark interest rates (BI Rates) were raised to 7.50% by the end of the year, in response to the abolition of the fuel subsidy, a phenomenon which had distorted the economy.
Economic weakness continues, particularly in the E.U., where Greece ran the risk of default. At home in Indonesia, consumers kept driving the economy, which registered 2014 GDP declining growth from the latter part of 2014.
Consumers need discretionary income to afford our merchandise, and the hope is that this will not dry up in 2015, in which case Ramayana could record negative growth, before recovering in 2016.
Over the long term, both energy and commodity sectors are bound to pick up, and if the various levels of Government can somehow resolve large-scale unemployment and under-employment issues, maintain the Rupiah at a competitive exchange rate and control other macroeconomic factors, Ramayana should be able to recover a satisfactory rate of growth.
As ever, the fundamental financial position of our Company is secure, with major cash reserves, no debt and strong lines of credit with major banks. As we grow we maintain a prudent stance, and are always ready to pull back from unproductive commitments.