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Store closure hits Metro Holdings profit

Property/retail group Metro Holdings profit dropped from $55.9 million to $20.5 million on revenue of $37.3 million during the third quarter, largely due to its property business in China.

Metro’s top line declined 9 per cent, mainly because of the loss of revenue from the closure of the retail division’s Metro City Square department store in the middle of the quarter. This also resulted in a $3.4 million dip in the retail segment’s revenue to $35.7 million.

However, a slight revenue improvement for the group’s other department stores, coupled with cost-containment initiatives, led to a turnaround in the retail division in Singapore, from a segment loss of $300,000 in the third quarter the previous year to a profit of $100,000.

Offset by a weaker market in Indonesia, the division had higher overall profit of $1.3 million for the quarter, from $600,000.

Metro says the retail division is expected to continue being beset by challenges including a competitive trading environment, slower domestic economy and high running costs.

Metro Holdings, which started out in 1957 as a textile store, is involved in property development and investment as well as retail, focussed on such key markets as China, Indonesia and Singapore. It also has a presence in the UK.

Its retail arm comprises three Metro department stores in Singapore and nine in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, chairman Winston Choo has announced the appointment of Yip Hoong Mun as group COO and CEO of Metro China Holdings.

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