FJ Benjamin returns to profit after 26 per cent growth in turnover 

(Source: FJ Benjamin)

Singapore-based fashion retail group FJ Benjamin has reported a 26 per cent revenue growth from $36.2 million to $45.7 million for the half year ended December 31 as consumer demand returned in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. 

The company’s net profit reached $1.7 million, a reversal from a net loss of $1.3 million in the corresponding period last year. Sales across its three markets – Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – improved 18 per cent, 48 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. Although export sales from Singapore to the company’s Indonesian associate dropped by 25 per cent, the company’s share of profit more than doubled to $809,000. 

The company said the increased footfall at physical stores after the years of pandemic restrictions has helped the company clear more inventory and less had to be put on sale at a lower margin. 

“Management is optimistic the business upturn will be sustained in the near term, supported by the return of Chinese tourists to Southeast Asia,” said Group CEO Douglas Benjamin. 

“We look forward to capitalising on this momentum in the coming months even as we keep a wary eye on a possible recession in the West spilling over to Asia.”

Meanwhile, the e-commerce business accounted for only 3 per cent of the sales compared to 6 per cent in the corresponding period last year. During the period, group operating expenses surged 21 per cent due to higher rents and increased staff costs.

FJ Benjamin’s founder and non-executive chairman, Frank Benjamin, retired at the end of last year after more than 60 years of building the fashion empire, handing over board leadership to executive chairman Nash Benjamin. Former COO Douglas Benjamin took on the role of group CEO on January 1. 

The retail group operates 144 stores across Southeast Asia for more than 20 international brands, including Cole Haan, Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, Lancel, MZ Skin, Pretty Ballerinas, and Guess.

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