F J Benjamin reports loss on heels of share price surge

F J Benjamin reports loss on heels of share price surge

Shares of retailer F J Benjamin Holdings surged 23 per cent yesterday, apparently on news that the firm is exclusively bringing in upscale brand Marc Jacobs.

The 1.1-cent jump in the counter's share price to 5.7 cents came before relatively weak financial results.

The firm announced on Thursday it would bring in the Marc Jacobs brand, under French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which has undergone changes.

The sister Marc by Marc Jacobs line was being folded into the main brand this year, said Club 21, which ran it, last October. It closed the Marc by Marc Jacobs standalone store at Mandarin Gallery last year.

Sluggish consumer demand, restructuring costs and currency depreciation hurt full-year earnings, the listed fashion and lifestyle group said yesterday, reporting a net loss of $23 million for the 12 months to June 30, up from a loss of $17 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 14 per cent to $253.6 million. Excluding currency translation losses, turnover fell 10 per cent. The firm said the fall was owing to the closing of non-performing stores, discontinued businesses and the ceasing of North Asian operations - these had previously contributed $31.1 million in revenue.

For instance, it had to close the last store of its home-grown label Raoul here at Paragon mall in February, but that is still available online.

Revenue was also hurt by translation losses of $10.4 million, partly arising from the conversion of the Malaysian ringgit to Singapore dollars upon consolidation, but the dip was offset by a slight increase in sales from franchise brands. The firm brought in Pretty Ballerinas, a ballerina pump and flat- shoe brand from Spain, last year, which did well.

Group turnover from the fashion business slid 9 per cent to $212.5 million, excluding translation losses, while the timepiece segment fell 13 per cent to $51.6 million.

Full-year net loss per share was 4.04 cents, up from a loss of 2.99 cents. Net asset value per share was 10.81 cents as of June 30, down from 14.94 cents a year earlier.

Chief executive Nash Benjamin said restructuring efforts started in 2013 and the firm has improved liquidity with more sales and less inventory, and reduced borrowings.

AT A GLANCE

NET LOSS: $23 million (+35 per cent)

REVENUE: $253.6 million (-14 per cent)


This article was first published on Aug 27, 2016.
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