Luxury fashion company FJ Benjamin has reported a 13 per cent drop in turnover to SG$39.6 million (US$29.3 million) for the six months ended December 31 due to weak consumer sentiment and inflation-dampening sales.
The company saw net loss of SG$2.1 million from a net profit of SG$1.7 million in the previous corresponding period. Sales in Singapore and Malaysia were down 23 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
“It has been a tougher festive period than we had expected,” said Douglas Benjamin, group CEO at FJ Benjamin.
“Many residents, supported by the strong Singapore dollar, had travelled overseas for their year-end holidays while tourist arrivals had been lower than anticipated. Inflationary pressures, consumers tightening their belts and other factors continued to weigh on the retail industry.”
Meanwhile, the group’s Indonesian associate reported turnover increasing by 8 per cent during the period. Exports from Singapore to the group’s Indonesian associate increased by SG$1.2 million as backlogs of goods ordered were delivered.
The company said inflationary pressures continue to weigh on the retail industry at large and economies in key Southeast Asian markets are expected to remain muted.
“We will continue to work hard to drive sales, keep an eye on our costs as well as look for ways to broaden our portfolio of fashion and wellness brands,” Benjamin said.
The Singaporean fashion conglomerate FJ Benjamin posted 19 per cent jump in net profit to $3.5 million for the year ended June 30 last year. FJ Benjamin currently operates 148 stores and manages more than 20 fashion and lifestyle brands.