Turnover for Singapore fashion and lifestyle group FJ Benjamin Holdings fell 13 per cent, or S$8.7 million (US$6.387 million) to S$61 million for the quarter ended March 31.
The company attributes the drop to a $5.8 million fall in revenue following the closure of non-performing stores and discontinued business, plus $3 million lost through the weakened Malaysian currency.
However, the group’s gross profit margin dropped only two percentage points year-on-year from 43 to 41 per cent for the quarter as promotional activities were ramped up in Malaysia.
“We continue to face lower foot traffic in malls, and consumer spending continues to be under pressure with the prevailing slowdown of regional economies and currency volatility,” says CEO
A focus on cost management resulted in improvements in most categories of expenses, easing running expenses by 12 per cent, or $4.1 million, to $31.1 million.
Benjamin says the retail environment is expected to remain challenging. “The group continues to execute its strategy of finding the best brands to bring to customers, rationalising shop fronts and controlling cost, as well as finding the right business model for the future.”
FJ Benjamin’s brands include Banana Republic, Celine, Frederique Constant, Gap, Givenchy, Guess, La Senza, Loewe, Nautica, Tom Ford, Swarovski and Victorinox Swiss Army.