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Courts Asia continues to defy downtown

Electronics and furnishings retailer Courts Asia has reported a modest 0.3 per cent increase in profits for the third quarter – against a background of a stagnant domestic market.

The company’s sales grew a healthy 6.1 per cent – mostly due to increased sales of high value electronics such as iPads and smartphones. Total revenue was S$204.7 million; net profit $4 million.

“In Singapore, the macro environment is very much against the consumer market at the moment,” CEO and executive director Dr Terry O’Connor said during a conference call briefing on the result.

“The [Singapore] economy is going through some restructuring in terms of the residential property market, the total debt servicing ratio, the labour market and restrictions,” he said.

However, O’Connor remains upbeat about the domestic market, predicting the “sluggish” current trading environment would eventually pass.

Singapore, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of Courts Asia’s sales, saw sales grow 7.9 per cent and in Malaysia sales rose 20 per cent. Indonesia, which now accounts for 1.7 per cent of Courts Asia’s sales, reported an increase of 6.1 per cent.

The company’s gross margin fell by 2.4 percentage points to 29.7 per cent which O’Connor said was due to a shift in the sales mix towards electrical goods and a higher ratio of bulk sales which return smaller margins.

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