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Courts Asia posts third-quarter loss as Malaysian sales tank

Takeover target Courts Asia had a forgettable third quarter, reporting a net loss of S$171,000 – a stark contrast to the $3.51 million profit for the same period a year earlier.

The company blamed lower sales and gross-profit margins together with higher income tax expenses.

Group sales fell 6.2 per cent to $175.3 million, largely due to a 22.2 per cent decline in Malaysian sales measured in ringgit with lower consumer demand for goods and services.  Singapore sales, which account for three-quarters of the business’ overall sales, slipped a negligible 0.7 per cent, while the company’s Indonesian woes continued. Although the market accounts for just 3.4 per cent of Courts Asia’s sales, revenue fell 7.3 per cent in local currency. Courts Asia is already taking steps to stem losses in Indonesia, recently announcing the closure of one of its megastores and the downsizing of another.  

Japanese electronics retailer Nojima Corp lodged a takeover bid for Courts Asia last month, conditional only on the formal acceptance by Courts Asia’s majority shareholder  Singapore Retail Group, which has already indicated its acceptance. The Japanese company plans a strategic review of the business and will consider delisting it.

Meanwhile, Courts Asia says it will continue to endeavour to improve efficiencies in its Malaysian business to improve productivity and return to profit. Twelve underperforming stores have already been closed reducing the network to 54.

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