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FJ Benjamin posts record Q4 loss

The luxury retailer said it does not expect consumer spending to improve in the near future, and has taken steps to close under-performing stores and cut costs. 

SINGAPORE: Luxury retailer FJ Benjamin Holdings reported on Friday (Aug 22) a net loss of S$22.1 million for its financial year ended Jun 30, hurt by rising costs in Singapore and a sharp fall in spending by tourists from Indonesia and China.

The slump was felt most keenly during the April-June fiscal fourth quarter, when the firm suffered a record operating loss of S$12.9 million. "Demand for the group's portfolio of fashion and timepiece brands was particularly depressed in the fourth quarter, with tourist arrivals and spending dampened by the fallout from the MH370 incident," FJ Benjamin said in a statement. "Consequently, revenue for the quarter fell 14 per cent to S$77.3 million from S$89.6 million in 4Q13." 

FJ Benjamin distributes and sells fashion labels such as Gap, Givenchy, Goyard, Guess, La Senza, Loewe, Raoul and Tom Ford.  It also has stores in Malaysia and Indonesia, 

CEO Nash Benjamin said the firm has taken steps to reduce inventory, downsize and close under-performing stores and cut costs, and he does not expect a meaningful upturn in sentiment and consumer spending in the near to medium term. "Like all retailers in Singapore, we will have to manage the triple whammy of lower demand, rising costs and labour shortage," he said.

Real estate service provider Savills said last week that retailers in Singapore probably sold less during this year's Great Singapore Sale, hurt by a drop in tourism numbers, slowing GDP growth and the increasing popularity of online shopping.

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