FJ Benjamin reports further losses in third-quarter results

SINGAPORE - Fashion and lifestyle group FJ Benjamin Holdings reported a further slump in third-quarter earnings on Thursday.

The group logged a net loss of $6.99 million for the three months ended March 31 compared to the $4.87 million loss from the same period a year ago.

Revenue fell 23 per cent to $69.7 million, on the back of lower sales in Singapore and North Asia, said the group in a statement on Thursday.

Gross profit fell 15 per cent to $30 million. Gross margins, however, expanded to 43 per cent from 39 per cent previously, with fewer markdowns and better inventory management.

FJ Benjamin said it has completed the downsizing of its operations in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

With the steps taken to streamline operations for greater synergy and efficiency, group operating expenses were reduced by 19 per cent or $8.3 million.

The group logged a loss per share of 1.23 cents, more than the loss of 0.86 cent previously, while net asset value per share was at 16.88 cents as at March 31.

"It has been another difficult quarter in Singapore and North Asia as a result of weaker consumer sentiment and the economic slowdown in China which has affected tourism in South-east Asia," said chief executive Nash Benjamin.

"(The) management has taken steps taken to right-size our operations by closing unprofitable stores and this will be completed by December 2015. In light of this, the group expects to record a loss for the current financial year.

FJ Benjamin shares closed 0.3 cent down at 12.7 cents on Thursday.