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BreadTalk posts 81% slump in Q3 net profit to S$513,000 on higher expenses

MAINBOARD-LISTED food and beverage player BreadTalk Group has posted an 81 per cent drop in its third-quarter net profit, weighed down by an over 34 per cent spike in distribution and selling expenses.

Net profit stood at S$513,000 for the quarter ended September, 81 per cent lower than the S$2.7 million in the corresponding period a year ago, BreadTalk announced in a statement on Tuesday after market close.

This came despite an improved topline of S$173.6 million or 10.1 per cent higher than the S$157.7 million posted for Q3 FY2018. It saw higher distribution and selling expenses that outstripped the decline in cost of sales, however.

These caused the earnings per share to dip from 0.48 Singapore cent to 0.09 cent, while net asset value per share slipped from 28.9 cents from end-2018 to 26.1 cents as at Sept 30.

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Nonetheless, the company has declared an interim dividend of 0.5 Singapore cent to be paid on Dec 20.

Hong Kong's escalating unrest has hit sales, as same-store sales for its food court business reported a decline, the group noted. Vacancy, however, remains low.

"The ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong is expected to have a negative impact on our Food Atrium and Bakery businesses in the territory. The group will be monitoring the situation closely and will mitigate its impact as much as possible."

Meanwhile, its efforts to improve its bakery business, particularly in China and Thailand, remain underway, and it seeks more ways "to create value for our franchisees".

As it has completed the acquisition of Food Junction, BreadTalk expects additional revenue contribution to its food court business (branded under Food Republic) from the fourth quarter. "We will also work on driving greater synergy between Food Republic and Food Junction in their common markets of Singapore and Malaysia."

BreadTalk shares ended at 55 Singapore cents on Tuesday, up one cent or 1.85 per cent.