Jeweller Luk Fook Holdings has recorded another quarter of falling sales – but says the rate of decline is slowing as US-China trade tensions ease.
Against what the company describes as a relatively higher base, same-store sales fell by 6 per cent in the March quarter. That compares with a 10 per cent decline in the previous three months. Other factors in the improvement were a rebound in the Renminbi and the recovery of the stock and property markets.
Same-store sales of gold products fell 6 per cent and of gem-set jewellery by 4 per cent.
The company also noted a shift towards lower-value items in both Hong Kong and Mainland China, resulting in a double-digit drop in the average selling price of gem-set jewellery products. However, the increase in sales volume helped to mitigate the impact of that.
Luk Fook added a net 32 stores on the mainland during the fourth quarter, adding 41 licensed shops and closing nine self-operated stores. That left the jeweller with 212 self-operated shops: 141 on the mainland, 49 in Hong Kong, 11 in Macau and 11 overseas as at March 31. With 1614 licensed shops on the mainland, one in Cambodia and one in the Philippines, the total network was 1828 worldwide.