Courts Q3 net profit up 24.4% but sales down amid weak retail environment

SINGAPORE - Electrical, IT and furniture retailer Courts Asia reported a 24.4 per cent rise in third quarter net profit to S$5 million, despite lower revenue amid a weaker retail environment.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec 31 stood at S$187.2 million, a decline of 8.6 per cent from S$204.7 million a year earlier. This was due to lower corporate sales for digital products, coupled with the unforeseen recall of the Samsung Note 7 during the quarter.

Singapore revenue, which made up 66.8 per cent of Courts Asia's sales in the quarter, slid 12.3 per cent mainly due to lower corporate sales for digital products. Revenue in Malaysia, which contributed 29.3 per cent of the group's turnover, fell 5.9 per cent in ringgit terms due to the same reason.

The group's Indonesian operations saw revenue soar 104.3 per cent in rupiah terms, mainly due to contributions from newly opened stores. However, Indonesian sales made up just 3.9 per cent of overall revenue in the quarter.

"In line with our vision to be a regional omni-channel player through transformational operational efficiency and innovation, Singapore will lead the way for the group, investing in continuous improvement and innovation of both our offline and online stores," said Courts Asia's executive director and group chief executive officer Terence Donald O'Connor.

"Our online store will provide an alternative to customers who wish to shop at their convenience and we will use Singapore's e-store as the benchmark for improving the front-end experience and back-end capabilities for Malaysia and Indonesia online stores.

"With the rise of omni-channel retailing, we expect our portfolio of stores to play different roles over time, operating as fulfilment centres as well as 'experience centres', inspiring customers and providing an array of customer solutions to complement the 'box' business," he added.

Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 0.97 cent, up from 0.77 cent a year earlier.

Net asset value per share was 56.7 cents as at Dec 31, up from 55.8 cents as at Mar 31.