A one-off gain from the sale of the Hong Kong Circle K convenience-store business saw Convenience Retail Asia’s profit soar 1413 per cent last year to US$400 million.
The gain – $371 million – overshadowed a strong result from the business’ continuing operations which was up 84 per cent.
Slimmed-down Convenience Retail Asia now operates just 131 stores trading under the Zoff Eyewear (11) and Saint Honore Cake Shop (119) banners, along with one Patisserie Mon Cher store.
Mon Cher is a premium Japanese patisserie chain for which the company obtained the franchise licence for Hong Kong and Macau last September.
The group attributed the strong performance of its remaining retail business to an increase in festive sales, improvement in gross profit by the Saint Honore business and the receipt of government subsidies to help offset part of the group’s operating costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Convenience Retail Asia chairman Victor Fung said in a results announcement that the company plans to grow each of its retail brands during the next few years and will seek new opportunities to add to its portfolio of specialty brands through licensing, franchising, joint ventures and acquisitions.
“In 2021, we expect to increase our store network for all our brands, enhance sales through O2O platforms and make important inroads into B2B, where there are a number of opportunities for our businesses,” Fung said.
Total revenue for the group last year – excluding the Circle K-sale gain – was down just 0.5 per cent to $153 million.