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Courts boosts sales in Malaysia

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 4 September 2014

Asia Pacific (APAC) retailer Courts saw its sales in Malaysia climb 8.2% year-on-year for the quarter ending 30th June, while revenues in Singapore dropped 5.9%. Courts total sales for the quarter slipped 1.5% year-on-year to S$194.1m (US$155.24m), with after-tax profits down 27.9% at S$5.08m (US$4.06m) a profit margin of 2.62%.

Courts sales boost in Malaysia was due to an increased contribution from new in-country stores. Revenues in Singapore were impacted by softer consumer sentiment, according to the retailer. Courts is scheduled to open its first ‘big box’ store in Indonesia this month as it looks to expand its geographic reach in the region.

Terry O’Connor, group CEO at Courts, stated: “Given the challenging retail market, we expect Singapore’s performance to remain lacklustre in the short term. Apart from cost efficiency initiatives, we have been actively working on margin enhancing initiatives. At the same time, we are making good progress in transforming ourselves into a full-fledged omnichannel retailer to increase the touch-points with our customers and enhance the consumers’ shopping experience.”

“In Malaysia, whilst we have seen some topline contribution from new stores, we have observed that the consumption pattern for the period leading up to Hari Raya was fairly muted. The tighter control on household borrowings by the Malaysian government has negatively impacted consumer sentiments. At the same time, we experienced some teething issues in the migration to Navision, a new ERP system, which had some impact on business,” he added.

“We are well on track with our expansion into our third major market – Indonesia – with our first ‘big box’ megastore slated to open in Bekasi, Jakarta by September this year. We remain firmly focused for three stores to be operational in greater Jakarta by calendar year 2015,” O’Connor continued.

“At the same time, we remain open to opportunities in the region and are keen to engage in collaborations to broaden our income streams. In the mid to long term, we continue to remain optimistic on Asia’s solid fundamentals, built on rising middle class and growing disposable income,” he concluded.

Courts Asia currently operates more than 70 stores across both markets, spanning over one million square feet of retail space.

DISTREE APAC 2014

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