No Signboard closes Esplanade outlet even as Singapore reopens borders

No Signboard's board believes that closing the outlet to reduce operating costs would be in the best interests of the company. PHOTO: NO SIGNBOARD

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - After two years battling the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, seafood restaurant owner No Signboard closed its Esplanade outlet on Friday (April 1), just as Singapore reopened its borders.

No Signboard said it had carefully considered the option of keeping the outlet open until all Covid-19 restrictions were fully lifted.

However, it may take several more months before travel returns to levels before the pandemic hit, even though the Government had recently eased restrictions, such as increasing the maximum group size for dine-ins from five to 10, the company said.

This will continue to adversely affect the business of No Signboard's Esplanade outlet, it said in a filing on the Singapore Exchange late on Thursday night.

Hence, its board believes that closing the outlet to reduce operating costs would be in the best interests of the company in the light of its current financial situation.

No Signboard will continue to operate its other restaurant outlets, namely Little Sheep Hotpot at Orchard Gateway and No Signboard Sheng Jian at Northpoint City.

"The closure of the No Signboard Seafood Esplanade outlet will allow the group to focus its efforts and resources on operating the group's casual and quick-serve restaurant outlets until further review of the evolving Covid-19 situation," said the company.

Given that the Esplanade outlet is making losses, it said the closure is expected to contribute positively to its consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share for the current financial year ending on Sept 30 this year.

Shares of Catalist-listed No Signboard have been suspended from trading since Jan 24. They last traded at 3.1 cents.

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