Courts Asia makes higher sales but lower profits

SINGAPORE - Furniture and IT retailer Courts Asia saw its net profit fell by 38 per cent to $7.8 million in the fourth quarter.

This was despite revenue for the three months to March 31 rising by 9.8 per cent to $207 million.

It was the same story for the full year, with net earnings plunging by 31.6 per cent to $28.3 million on the back of a 4.6 per cent increase in revenue to $830.3 million.

The profit fall was due to lower other income and gains, and higher administrative and finance expenses as the group expanded its footprint and operations in the region.

Revenue in Malaysia rose 5.1 per cent during the year, contributing some 31.7 per cent to group sales.

Court Asia's effort to focus on its best credit customers as well as new customers continued to yield results, while new stores opened during the year also contributed to the growth.

This was evident from the 18.7 per cent jump in revenue in ringgit term in the fourth quarter.

Earned service charge income in the three months increased to $35.8 million from $32.7 million.

Revenue from Singapore, which made up about 68.3 per cent of total full year sales, was up by 4.4 per cent on the back of higher sales of electrical and digital products.

For the quarter, revenue grew 7.7 per cent due to higher bulk sales of digital products, as well as contribution from two new stores at JEM and Westgate.

Full year earnings per share eased to 5.08 cents from 7.85 cents previously while net asset value per share grew by 2.1 cents to 53.8 cents.

A final dividend of 0.76 cent a share was proposed, down from 1.01 cents last year.