Hong Kong jeweller Tse Sui Luen posted a loss of US$5.37 million in the six months to September as the “triple whammy” of Covid-19, the US-China trade war and social events in Hong Kong impacted sales across all markets.
Total sales in Hong Kong, Macau, China and Malaysia fell by 28.7 per cent to $151.8 million.
Chairman Annie Yau said the impact of the triple whammy “was nothing short of calamitous”.
With few inbound tourists due to borders being closed, and a third wave of Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong since July which resulted in a tightening of social-distancing measures, consumer sentiment weakened further.
“With the soaring gold prices and the cancellation of wedding receptions under the pandemic, the demand for gold and jewellery products plummeted. During the period, the turnover of our Hong Kong and Macau retail businesses decreased by 62 per cent.”
Yau said same-store sales slumped by 59.3 per cent in the two territories.
TSL has been renegotiating rents with landlords and closing underperforming stores to reduce costs and that strategy is ongoing in the second half.
In Mainland China, which now accounts for 48.3 per cent of group sales, the retail industry has rebounded in the wake of the pandemic, however escalating tensions with the US has resulted in further depreciation of the Renminbi and continued to slow the recovery of consumer sentiment.
TSL’s sales decline on the mainland was contained to 12.9 per cent and same-store sales fell by just 5.2 per cent.
In Malaysia, the company’s only market outside Greater China, its six retail stores were temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and only reopened in phases as government policy allowed. Amid the national lockdown and the unfavourable economic situation, TSL Malaysia’s sales fell by 28.1 per cent.