DeClout reverses loss after change in strategy

Mr Kelvin Tay is chief executive of Corous360, which contributed $18.7 million to DeClout's group revenue.
Mr Kelvin Tay is chief executive of Corous360, which contributed $18.7 million to DeClout's group revenue.PHOTO: COROUS360

A change in strategy helped online firm DeClout move into the black in the first half of the year.

The Catalist-listed company posted a net profit of $808,000 for the six months to June 30, a turnaround from the $2.1 million loss recorded in the same period last year.

Revenue more than doubled from $45.6 million to $121 million, largely due to a robust performance from its unit Corous360, the firm reported on Wednesday.

It contributed $18.7 million to group revenue, up from $1.1 million a year earlier.

Corous360 chief executive Kelvin Tay attributed this to a switch from project-based income to working on a new online and mobile retail platform for video games and media collectibles.

The project is a collaboration with brick-and-mortar chain Funz Centre, which will be rebranded under the PLAYe name.

Mr Tay said the inspiration for PLAYe came from the observation that customers at video games stores in Singapore do not normally build strong relationships with a particular retail brand.

The hope is that devising PLAYe as a "companion app" that shows trending content, recommends products and offers real-time customer service will counter this.

While he would not reveal the number of downloads since the service was launched late last month, Mr Tay said that the target was one million users over the next year.

He said the games and collectibles retail sector will prove a resilient source of money because it attracts dedicated fans and because movie and game franchises guarantee new products on a regular basis.

Mr Tay said that PLAYe differs from other electronic games retail platforms like Steam as it is in partnership with physical stores with which it can share a sales system and customer database.

Having tied up with Funz Centre's eight outlets, Corous360 aims to have 100 stores within the next three years. The company plans to be in Hong Kong and Taiwan by the end of next year with Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia to follow.

Earnings per share went from a negative 0.74 cent to 0.03 cent, while net asset value per share grew from 14.03 cents to 15.14 cents.

Annabeth Leow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2015, with the headline 'DeClout reverses loss after change in strategy'. Print Edition | Subscribe