SINGAPORE - Pawnbroker ValueMax Group reported a 3.9 per cent drop in earnings to $9 million.
This was on the back of an 8.1 per cent fall in revenue to $324.5 million for the year ended Dec 31.
Revenue from retail and trading of pre-owned jewellery and gold business decreased by $28.4 million while revenue from pawnbroking remained relatively stable.
Gross profit increased by 10.2 per cent despite the decline in revenue, mainly due to the fall in interest expense as a result of lower utilisation of bank borrowings by the pawnbroking segment during the year and better gross margin achieved from the retail and trading of pre-owned jewellery and gold business.
Gross margin improved from 6.4 per cent in 2013 to 7.7 per cent last year.
Earnings per share fell to 1.69 cents from 2.32 cents previously while net asset value per share firmed by 0.78 cent to 28.26 cents.
ValueMax completed its acquisition of a pawnshop in Toa Payoh Central on Jan 5. Together with the acquisition of Tai Eng Pawnbroker last July and the addition of three new outlets last year, the group now has 23 outlets in Singapore.
Since the acquisition of VM Credit in September last year, ValueMax has entered into several loan contracts of which $18 million has been disbursed to-date.
The group expects to see growing demand for loans in its moneylending business.
ValueMax said it will continue to seek opportunities to grow its businesses through acquisitions and setting up of new outlets both in Singapore and overseas.
An unchanged final dividend of 0.88 cent a share was proposed.