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The Group's revenue increased by 5.0% from US$297.8 million to US$312.6 million, and gross profit increased by 12.7% from US$15.2 million to US$17.1 million, due to the higher sales from the Hong Kong and Singapore business units arising from stronger seasonal demand.
Sales and distribution costs decreased by 4.3% from US$7.9 million to US$7.6 million mainly due to net foreign exchange gain.
General and administrative expenses increased by 25.9% from US$4.2 million to US$5.3 million. This was mainly due to new system enhancements across the Group, higher staff costs and programs related to the Group's 30th year anniversary.
Other expenses increased by US$0.4 million due to write-back of allowance for doubtful trade debts in 302016, arising from the recovery of trade debts.
Interest expense increased by 70.0% from US$0.7 million to US$1.2 million mainly due to higher borrowings and higher financing costs from the hikes in interest rates.
Overall, the Group reported an increase in profit after taxation by 3.8% from US$2.4 million to US$2.5 million.
During the quarter, the Group's net cash flow generated from operating activities was US$1.0 million compared to net cash flow used in operating activities of US$20.5 million in 302016, mainly due to lower working capital requirement.
The Group's trade debtors increased from US$154.2 million to US$179.6 million as at 30 September 2017, due to increase in sales. Stock increased from US$131.6 million to US$154.0 million as at 30 September 2017.
Trade creditors and accruals increased from US$100.1 million to US$134.8 million as at 30 September 2017, due to higher purchase of stock.
Interest-bearing loans and borrowings increased from US$123.5 million to US$132.8 million as at 30 September 2017 to fund the working capital requirements.
The Group's cash and short-term deposits was US$16.7 million as at 30 September 2017 as compared to US$16.6 million as at 31 December 2016.
Overall, shareholders' equity increased to US$70.8 million from US$68.3 million as at 31 December 2016, due to profit after tax of US$5.3 million and net gain on fair value changes of available-for-sale financial assets of US$0.6 million for the period ended 30 September 2017. This was partially offset by the dividend payment of US$3.4 million.
With new innovations and updated designs in consumer electronics, such as new smartphones being introduced, the second half of the year is generally the high cycle for electronics manufacturing and sales activities.
China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 52.4 in September 2017*, which is a five-year-high as activities in China's manufacturing sector increased significantly. With China's positive growth momentum, we are of the view that this market will continue to be the key driver in our business.
The sustained initiatives for more infrastructure growth in emerging markets that we operate in continues to give rise to new business opportunities. In Singapore, the government's Smart Nation initiatives will provide opportunities for our business.
Aligned with the positive market trends in our operating markets, our key focus in consumer, connectivity and industrial business segments remain key growth catalysts. At the same time, the Group continues to develop expertise, capabilities and technologies to harness the growing opportunities in relation to the Internet of Things ("loT"). Focusing on the sustainability of business growth, the Group will continue to explore partnerships, strategic alliances as well as expand our technical capabilities and product portfolio to enhance our competitive strengths.
*Source taken from the National Bureau of Statistics of China 2017