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2009 Enterprise 50 Awards: celebrating strength and resilience

Singapore, 2 November 2009 - Singapore's 50 most enterprising companies for 2009 were announced at the Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards Presentation and Gala Dinner this evening. Leading the awards’ list for 2009 is Samwoh Corporation Pte Ltd, a company in the building and construction industry. In second and third place respectively are Ryobi Kiso (S) Pte Ltd and Sin Heng Heavy Machinery Pte Ltd.

Officiating at the E50 Awards Presentation and Gala Dinner at the Raffles City Convention Centre this evening was Finance Minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who presented the awards to this year’s top 10 E50 companies.

The remaining 40 companies on the list received their awards and announcement of the winners’ specific rankings earlier in the day from Mr Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore, at a separate ceremony.

Mr Danny Teoh, Managing Partner of KPMG LLP (Singapore), said: “KPMG is proud to be the co-organisers for the E50 Awards for a second year and we congratulate this year’s award winners. In the face of an economically difficult year, they have surmounted unprecedented challenges. They possess common traits such as clear and strong organisational structures and the ability to respond effectively to short-term challenges while planning for long-term prosperity.”

He added: “Our E50 winners are shining examples of the resilience of Singapore’s small and medium enterprise, and their importance to the local economy. As the bedrock of local employment, they have played their part in buffering Singaporeans from some of the effects of a global downturn.”

According to SPRING Singapore, the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector makes up 99 percent of Singapore’s total enterprises, contribute to half of the total value added in our economy and employs 60 percent of Singapore’s workforce.

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor, The Business Times said: "The Business Times congratulates this year's E50 winners. The winners have responded well to the challenges posed by the difficult economic conditions. They developed an innovation-led business model, enjoyed differentiated brand positioning, and operated with sound financial management in place. These SMEs are instrumental in the development of the Singapore economy. The Business Times is committed to supporting the growth of our SMEs through our extensive editorial coverage and providing news and analysis that matter to them.”

Enhanced criteria on resilience and sustainability

In the light of the recent economic crunch, this year’s judging criteria was enhanced to include a stronger focus on liquidity and risk management practices.

The quantitative factors taken into consideration this year included financial performance indicators such as operating profit before tax, turnover and profit growth.

Qualitative considerations included management and marketing strategies, such as an applicant’s business model and their innovations, management ideals and governance, market branding and overall potential.

In addition, new criteria were also included to assess an applicant’s capability of withstanding the economic downturn. These included the ability to use customer data, market or product information to identify opportunities for innovation, and measures taken to improve and sustain demand and to reduce costs. A key and salient addition to the judging criteria was also the applicant’s liquidity and risk management measures.

Said Mr Teoh, “The quantitative and qualitative criteria provided good indicators of a company’s ability to overcome economic adversity. With many enterprises shifting to business preservation mode in a downturn, enterprises which had strong risk, cash and liquidity management frameworks proved to be more resilient. Moving forward, it should also allow them to remain focused by allocating their resources to gain a competitive advantage in a recovering economy.”

Identifying some of the industry’s best

This year’s list comprises organisations from industries such as business services (2 percent), information technology (5 percent), engineering services (14 percent), logistics (7 percent), real estate and construction (11 percent), wholesale, distribution and retail (27 percent), manufacturing (13 percent), and others (21 percent).

Notably, the strong overall performance of the building and construction industries, which grew by 2.9 percent last year, enhanced the vigour of the winners in these sectors. With strong business models and financials, they have ridden the momentum of growth from previous boom years.

In addition to the E50 Awards, seven winners were also honoured with the E50 Special Awards. These special awards are for companies that have been on the E50 list for five consecutive years.

The recipients this year were Kenyon Pte Ltd, Koufu Pte Ltd, Orient Express Lines (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Linkers (Far East) Pte Ltd, Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd, Tru-Marine Pte Ltd, and Farlin Timbers Pte Ltd.

The judging panel comprised senior management representatives from KPMG LLP (Singapore), The Business Times, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SPRING Singapore.

For a list of 2009 E50 Award winners please see Annex A.
For background information about the top 10 2009 E50 Award winners please see Annex B.

A word from our Sponsor and Supporters

The E50 Awards are supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING Singapore and sponsored by OCBC Bank.

Said Mr Linus Goh, Global Head of Enterprise Banking and Financial Institutions, OCBC Bank: "This year's E50 winners have successfully steered their companies through the extraordinary challenges of the past year, and I believe that entrepreneurship in Singapore has been strengthened by their performance during the crisis. We at OCBC are proud to continue our association with the E50 award and its winners for the 4th year running."

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RADM (NS) Ronnie Tay of the IDA said: “It is encouraging to see that our SMEs have continued to leverage on infocomm to strengthen their operations and sharpen their competitive edge. The innovative use of infocomm will certainly serve to enhance their competitiveness in the local and global marketplace.”

Said Mr Chong Lit Cheong, CEO at International Enterprise (IE) Singapore: "IE Singapore congratulates this year's E50 winners. Singapore enterprises were put to the test with the economic turmoil, but this year's winners have shown their mettle in the face of turbulent times. Internationalisation continues to be a key theme for sustained growth. Close to 40 percent of the winners generated half or more of their gross turnover from overseas sales last year. IE Singapore continues to encourage and support the growth of Singapore-based companies in overseas markets. It is even more pertinent in this time of economic recovery for them to compete on a global platform, which will in turn help to spur further innovation and resilience."

"SPRING congratulates this year's E50 winners. Not only have our enterprises overcome the downturn, many forged ahead amid the uncertainty to re-strategise and invest in new capabilities. As we celebrate the strength and resilience of our enterprises over the past year, let us not forget to continue to build up for the years ahead," said Mr Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore.


About the Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards
The E50 Awards were created in 1995 to identify, support, recognise and reward enterprising privatelyowned, local companies across all sectors. It has since become the definitive list of the 50 most enterprising, privately-held local companies in Singapore.

Apart from having the privilege to use the E50 logo on their corporate collateral to identify themselves as the cream of Singapore's business crop, Enterprise 50 companies are the ones to watch in the business community. Year after year, new E50 companies top the headlines with extensive media coverage in the press and business publications.

To qualify for the E50 Award, companies must first be locally incorporated, have at least 30 percent local equity, three years audited financial records and must not be listed on any stock exchange. Companies were short-listed from the entries received and then ranked according to pre-defined criteria.

The awards are jointly organised by The Business Times and KPMG in Singapore, and supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, International Enterprise Singapore and SPRING Singapore. OCBC Bank is the sponsor.

For more information, please visit

About The Business Times
The Business Times (BT), a member of the Singapore Press Holdings group, is South-east Asia's leading business daily. It is Singapore’s only financial daily and provides a complete guide on the local, regional and international business scene.

BT brings to its readers each day a comprehensive and concise package of corporate, financial, economic and political news, analysis and commentary. BT also carries features and the latest lifestyle trends in food, entertainment, shopping, arts, health, travel and design.

In June 1995, BT became the first English-language newspaper in Asia to go on the World Wide Web. Since January 2000, BT Online started to be available from 4am Singapore time (GMT +0800) and to offer news updates throughout the day.

Redesigned in September 2004 to engage a new generation of readers, a refreshing blue masthead, bigger fonts and friendlier layout were introduced. The content has been expanded to reflect a complete read, packing in loads of new features, such as speciality pages, a daily take on the health of the Singapore economy and dedicated regional pages.

For more information, visit

About KPMG in Singapore
KPMG in Singapore is part of a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. The independent member firms of the KPMG network operate in 144 countries and have more than 137,000 professionals worldwide. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

Our professionals can help growing enterprises on a broad range of issues facing them in their growth, performance, governance, and compliance objectives. These include audit, tax, business planning, and advice on fundraising, acquisitions, process improvements, and risk management.

KPMG’s website is located at

About OCBC Bank
OCBC Bank is Singapore’s longest established local bank. It has assets of S$188 billion and a network of more than 490 branches and representative offices in 15 countries and territories including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Brunei, Japan, Australia, UK and USA. This network includes more than 380 branches and offices in Indonesia operated by OCBC Bank’s subsidiary, Bank OCBC NISP. OCBC Bank and its banking subsidiaries offer a wide range of specialist financial services, from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury and stock-broking services to meet the needs of its customers across communities.

OCBC Bank’s insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the largest insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia by assets, and its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the largest asset management companies in Southeast Asia. Additional

information may be found at

About IDA
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. It works closely with various stakeholders across sectors like education, healthcare, finance, transport, logistics, interactive and digital media, hospitality and retail to leverage infocomm for its economic and social development. The initiative, Infocomm@SME Programme offers Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) a series of initiatives and resources in speeding up their infocomm transformation. This is part of the nation’s iN2015 masterplan to develop Singapore into an intelligent nation, global city powered by infocomm.

Please visit for more information.

About IE Singapore
International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry spearheading the development of Singapore’s external economic wing. Our mission is to promote the overseas growth of Singapore-based enterprises and international trade. With a global network in over 30 locations and our “3C” framework of assistance – Connections, Competency, Capital, we offer services to help enterprises export, develop business capabilities, find overseas partners and enter new markets. At the same time, we work to position Singapore as a base for foreign businesses to expand into the region in partnership with Singaporebased companies.

Please visit for more information.

About SPRING Singapore
SPRING Singapore is the enterprise development agency for growing innovative companies and fostering a competitive SME sector. We work with partners to help enterprises in financing, capabilities and management development, technology and innovation, and access to markets. As the national standards and accreditation body, SPRING also develops and promotes internationally-recognised standards and quality assurance to enhance competitiveness and facilitate trade.

For further information please contact:

Yeo Siew Chi
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications, Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Tel: +65 6319 1586 (direct) / 9749 5105 (mobile)

Jeremy Kong
Assistant Manager, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1541 (direct) / 8118 9962 (mobile)

Dawn Westerhout
Director, Marketing & Communications, KPMG in Singapore
Tel: +65 6507 1538 (direct) / 8118 9920 (mobile)