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Protests squeeze Clarks profits

Hong Kong distributors of shoe label Clarks has blamed the Occupy Central protests for a 45 per cent profit slump in the year to December.

S.Culture has the exclusive distribution rights for a number of international lifestyle comfort footwear brands, including Clarks, Josef Seibel, The Flexx and Yokono. It has retail outlets in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan trading  under the brands S.Culture, Shoe Mart and Scoops as well as sole brand stores for Clarks, Clarks Originals and Josef Seibel.

“The board believes the significant decrease in the unaudited consolidated net profit is mainly attributable to an unexpected deterioration of the general atmosphere of the consumer market in Hong Kong commencing in the third quarter of 2014 leading up to the Occupy Central event and its negative lingering effect until the fourth quarter of 2014.”

However, there was a rosier side to its profit warning lodgement. It said the addition of 10 stores had taken its retail network to 122 as at December. Due to the protests and downturn in spending by Chinese mainland tourists, these new stores had yet to break even and had incurred costs in leasing, staff recruitment, stock and other overheads

Despite the significant decrease in the unaudited consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter of 2014, the group recorded a same store sales growth of approximately 1.3 per cent.


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