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BreadTalk expects FY2019 net loss on HK unrest, F&B weakness

MAINBOARD-LISTED BreadTalk Group expects a net loss for FY2019 ended December, due to weakness in its bakery and food concept divisions, coupled with the turmoil in Hong Kong, the company announced in a profit guidance on Thursday after trading hours. 

The red ink will likely spill from widening losses at the bakery business in China and Thailand, as well as from several brands within its 4orth food concepts division, including Wu Pao Chun, Song Fa, Tai Gai and Nayuki. 

BreadTalk also expects a hit from "significant deterioration" in the financial showing of its Hong Kong business, in both the bakery and food atrium divisions due to the ongoing social unrest.

Back in December, BreadTalk's deputy chief operating officer Jenson Ong had told The Business Times that despite lower sales in Hong Kong, it has not laid off staff in that market, nor was it planning to.

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It would also be difficult for the group to exit the Hong Kong market completely, as existing leases for its outlets there have three to four years more before expiring, Mr Ong had said.

BreadTalk shares closed at S$0.69 on Thursday, up 5.34 per cent.