SINGAPORE - Supermarket operator and retailer Dairy Farm International Holdings posted stronger earnings in the first half of the year, thanks partly to better performances from Yonghui supermarkets in China and Maxim's restaurants in Hong Kong.
Underlying net profit for the six months to June 30 was up 6 per cent from a year ago to US$211 million (S$287 million).
Sales - including those of associates and joint ventures - rose 3 per cent to US$10.4 billion.
The company noted that strong results from Yonghui and Maxim's, as well as the health and beauty, and home furnishing divisions more than mitigated the lower earnings in the food division.
Interim dividend per share was unchanged from a year ago at 6.50 US cents.
"Solid profit growth was achieved in the first half despite lower sales seen in the group's supermarkets and hypermarkets operations," chairman Ben Keswick said.
"While the outlook for the remainder of the year is expected to remain challenging for the supermarket and hypermarket activities in South-east Asia, the group's other businesses continue to make steady progress."
Underlying earnings per share for the first half was 15.63 US cents, up from 14.74 US cents in the previous year.
The company also announced that Mr Graham Allan will be stepping down as group chief executive at the end of this month, "after five years of introducing change initiatives that have laid the foundation for growth".
He will be succeeded by Mr Ian McLeod, who has over 30 years of experience in the retail sector.