Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FJ Benjamin sees profit rise to $14m on better sales

Straits Times: Wed, Aug 22

RETAILER FJ Benjamin Holdings' (FJB) full year net profit rose 7 per cent to $13.9 million thanks to improved sales in both its fashion and timepiece business.

Revenue improved 11 per cent to $393.2 million with across-the-board growth in its businesses in South-east Asia and North Asia, the United States and Europe.

In addition, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China saw double-digit sales growth.

However, operating expenses in the year ended June 30 rose 14 per cent partly as a result of more staff, rentals for new stores, development of in-house brand Raoul and increased advertising costs.

FJB's net gearing also increased to 39 per cent as at June 30 compared to a year ago.

Chief executive Nash Benjamin said that the results were achieved in an uncertain economic environment as the protracted euro zone crisis and sluggish US economy dampen demand for Asian exports.

"The strength and appeal of the brands in our portfolio allow us to remain optimistic as we plan for growth in the next twelve months," he said.

"However, we will take a prudent approach to managing our business risks and costs as we focus on growth opportunities."

The firm will open a net total of seven new stores in Singapore and Malaysia and eight in Indonesia in the current financial year, bringing its retail footprint to 206 stores.

Earnings per share for the 12 months stood at 2.44 cents, compared with 2.28 cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share came in at 23.55 cents, up from 23.11 cents a year earlier.

A final dividend of one cent per ordinary share was declared. Its shares closed half a cent down at 35 cents yesterday.
Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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