F J Benjamin earnings plunge 73% to $1.3 million on weaker sales

A DECLINE in sales of luxury timepieces and weaker festive spending caused earnings for the three months to Dec 31 to fall, F J Benjamin said today.

The fashion retailer registered a net profit of $1.3 million for the quarter, dipping 73 per cent from $4.8 million for the corresponding period last year.

"The lower profitability was due to a decline in sales in North Asia by 36 per cent as a result of reduced spending by visitors from the PRC forluxury timepieces during the October Golden Week which continued into the fourth quarter of 2012," the group said in a statement.

Revenue took a hit, dipping 12 per cent from $109.9 million to $96.9 million. This was also attributed to a reduction in sales in North Asia.

Earnings per share for the three months ended Dec 31 fell 73 per cent from the same period last year to 0.23 cent.

Net asset value also fell, from 23.62 cents to 22.82 cents from the previous quarter.

The group said that the first Goyard store in Singapore at Ngee Ann City is set to open in the fourth quarter, and new VNC stores will also open in the second half of the financial year.

F J Benjamin's share price fell half a cent to close at 31.5 cents today. The results were announced after the market closed.

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