Japanese-invested Group Lease eyes double net profit this year

BANGKOK, NNA - Digital financial service provider Group Lease Public Co., focused on the motorcycle hire purchase business, is aiming to double its net profit to over $60 million this year while continuing to expand into Africa and Europe as well as Southeast Asia.

Group Lease, listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and 26 percent owned by Tokyo-based Wedge Holdings Co., said on Tuesday it chalked up a record net profit of $32 million in 2016, up 82 percent from the previous year and higher than its earlier projection of $30 million.

The firm's chief executive officer, Mitsuji Konoshita, said net profit is expected to double this year, buoyed by mergers and acquisitions, for which it plans to spend $78 million. Nine M&A deals are being negotiated, six of them in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region.

Group Lease plans to expand business to 13 new countries in Africa and Eastern Europe, seeking to become a global company operating in 20 countries.

The firm is also preparing to fully conduct business in Myanmar this year after it took over BG Microfinance Myanmar Co. and did a joint venture with AMK Consortium last year to provide several types of loans for the Myanmar population.

Konoshita said Group Lease's own developed digital financial platform is very significant for quick and efficient expansion to any new market as the platform enables highly effective financing at low cost. (NNA/Kyodo)