Hard half-year for Luk Fook Holdings

Revenue plunged by 21.5 per cent for jeweller Luk Fook Holdings (International) to reach HK$5.5 billion (US$709 million) for the six months to September 30.

Its interim results also show a drop of 31.5 per cent in overall same-store sales for the period.

However, its overall gross margin improved by 5.3 points to 28 per cent as a result of a relatively high gold price and higher gemset jewellery sales mix. Because of this, the gross profit decreased by only 3 per cent to HK$1.5 billion.

Mainland China accounted for 54.6 per cent of total profits, an increase of 12.8 points.
With a lacklustre market, retail revenue in Hong Kong plunged by 33.4 per cent to $2.642 billion, while the wholesale business shot up by 51.1 per cent to $361.6 million because of an increase in scrap gold sales as well as wholesale rough diamonds.

Luk Fook says a relatively high gold price saw gold sales fall more than expected.

During the six months, the group added 27 Lukfook shops worldwide, including 24 in China (nine of them licensed shops), a self-run shop in both Macau’s casino district and New York,and  a licensed shop in Seoul. This brought its total to 1455 Lukfook shops (up from 1412 at the same time last year), spanning Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Singapore and the US, as well as nine 3D-Gold shops (up from four) on the mainland.

The group says it has been striving to diversify its product mix, and since 2010 has been trying to expand its mid- to high-end watch business. At the end of September is was the authorised dealer of 34 watch brands including Audemars Piguet, Bulova, Burberry, Bulgari, Emporio Armani, Eterna, Frederique Constant, Longines, Omega, Oris, Rado, Tag Heuer, and Victorinox Swiss Army.

For the six months, the watch business contributed revenue of HK$104.49 million down from HK$119.39 million for the same period last year, representing 1.9 per cent of the group’s total revenue, a 12.5 per cent decrease.

Looking ahead, the group aims to continue to develop its eCommerce business and to further strengthen cooperation with eCommerce platforms in China. At the end of September, the group had 15 online sales platforms in China, including JD.com, Suning.com, Tmall.com and VIP.com.

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