South-east Asian department store operator Parkson Retail Asia narrowed its fourth quarter net loss by 80 per cent, owing to the absence of costs associated with a store closure a year earlier.
Parkson, which does not have stores in Singapore, reported a net loss of $12 million for the three months to June 30.
Revenue was up 10.9 per cent to $93.9 million from a year earlier, it added yesterday.
The closure of a store at Landmark 72 in Hanoi, Vietnam in January last year had cost the firm $68.4 million. This went under other expenses - which include advertising, selling and administrative expenses, for instance - which improved 70.4 per cent to $27.6 million.
Owing to this, the firm added in a statement that "as a percentage of revenue, the other expense ratios for the fourth quarter and the full year declined substantially year on year".
For the 12 months to June 30, Parkson reversed a net loss of $34.7 million to a net profit of $33 million, while revenue dipped 9.4 per cent to $388.4 million from a year earlier.
AT A GLANCE
NET LOSS: $12 million (+80%)
REVENUE: $93.9 million (+10.9%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 0.5 cent (-75%)
Parkson has department stores in cities across Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Malaysia reported same store sales growth being up 21.5 per cent, thanks to "early festive buying arising from the shift in the Hari Raya calendar". The growth also came from a low base a year earlier, where consumers bought less after the 6 per cent goods and services tax was introduced on April 1 last year.
Even though consumer sentiment remains subdued in Malaysia, the firm said it has initiated new concepts such as introducing South Korean apparel, affordable private labels and shoe speciality stores to diversify earnings.
Parkson added: "We have been consolidating our department store space by identifying non-performing stores with the view to closure upon tenancy expiry."
The Myanmar operations' same store sales growth, however, took a 25 per cent hit in the fourth quarter.
Parkson added that there are plans to close the store in FMI Centre in Yangon for re-development, and this upcoming closure has affected sales.
"The landlord has not confirmed the timing for the re-development," the firm added.
Overall, it expects the first quarter of the next financial year to remain challenging.
Quarterly loss per share stood at 1.78 cents, up from a loss of 8.82 cents in the same period last year. Net asset value per share was 24 cents as at June 30, up from 19 cents as at the same date last year.
Parkson proposed a final dividend of 0.5 cent.
Its shares closed 0.3 cent lower at 15.6 cents yesterday.