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Weak growth, lower profit for Metro Holdings Singapore

With “significant” contributions from its disposal of EC Mall in Beijing, Singapore-listed Metro Holdings has reported a net profit of S$113.3 million (US$82.37 million) for its financial year ending March 31 – a drop on the S$142.4 million earned the previous year.

Overall revenue grew by 6 per cent to S$154.6 million, up from S$145.8 million, with the retail division’s higher turnover attributable to a full year’s trading by Metro Centrepoint, which contributed for only five months the previous year.

Revenue decreased for Metro Holdings’ property division, mainly because of its disposal of Frontier Koishikawa, Japan, in August. However, the average occupancy rate of the group’s three investment properties remained high at 91.2 per cent.

“Retail sales continue to be affected by a softer market and the closure of both Metro Sengkang and Metro City Square,” says chairman Winston Choo.

He says the group has “right-sized” its retail stores in Singapore.

Gross profit for the year rose 36 per cent to S$11.4 million, compared to S$8.4 million the previous year. Overall, profit before taxation fell 15.9 per cent to S$122.3 million from S$145.5 million for the previous year.

Choo says the retail outlooks remains challenging, especially with the competitiveness of the industry, the discounted trading environment and high running costs.

While the group did not extend its leases of Metro Sengkang and Metro City Square, Metro Centrepoint’s sales were expected to be affected by the centre’s ongoing makeover since last May.

Metro Holdings Singapore started out in 1957 as a textile store, and today has two core business divisions, property development and investment, and retail, with a focus on China, Indonesia and Singapore. It has nine department stores in Indonesia.

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