F J Benjamin suffers net loss of S$5.5m, weighed down by weak consumer sentiment

SINGAPORE - Subdued consumer sentiment in its key markets pushed fashion and lifestyle group F J Benjamin into the red for the three months to Sept 30.

The company made a net loss of S$5.5 million, down from a net profit of S$1.1 million in the same period last year.

Revenues, dragged down by weaker sentiment in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, declined 15.5 per cent to S$63.7 million.

F J Benjamin said that "the challenging retail sector was compounded by a combination of factors including lower tourist arrivals, exchange rate volatility and the disruptive haze situation in the region."

The group made a loss per share of 0.96 Singapore cents, reversing a profit of 0.19 Singapore cents last year. Net asset value per share was 13.66 Singapore cents as at Sept 30, compared to 14.94 Singapore cents as at June 30.

The company's chief executive Nash Benjamin said: "With the uncertain global economic outlook, we expect consumer sentiment to remain muted in the mid-term. However, we are in a better position to engage the market with a robust cost structure and improved operational efficiencies through the on-going rationalisation exercise.

jkoh@sph.com.sg