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Challenger Technologies Q4 net profit down 2% to S$5.7m

CHALLENGER Technologies on Friday posted a 2 per cent decrease in net profit to S$5.7 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018.

Revenue was down 6 per cent to S$83.9 million due to lower contribution from IT products and services, which fell 6.6 per cent from a year ago. This was mainly a result of lower revenue contribution from tradeshow sales and retail operations. The decrease was partially offset by stronger revenue growth in corporate sales.

Revenue from the telephonic call centre and data management services improved by 26.7 per cent to S$1.9 million in the fourth quarter as more marketing projects were secured. Contribution from the electronic signage services business segment increased to S$0.5 million compared to S$0.2 million a year ago, primarily driven by completion of a project.

Challenger blamed the slowdown in Q4 on weak retail sentiment arising from global economic uncertainties such as trade wars and Brexit.

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Chief executive Loo Leong Thye said: "We expect this weak retail sentiment to continue in 2019 as lingering global uncertainties may affect Singapore in a bigger way than what we experienced in 2018."

Earnings per share came in at 1.66 Singapore cents, compared with 1.69 cents a year ago.

The group has proposed a final dividend of two Singapore cents per share for FY2018, to be approved at its upcoming annual general meeting. Together with the interim dividend of 1.1 Singapore cents, this would amount to a total dividend of 3.1 Singapore cents per share for the financial year. This payout represents 55 per cent of net profit attributable to shareholders.

The counter closed at S$0.535, down 0.93 per cent or 0.5 Singapore cent, before results were released.