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Dairy Farm posts "disappointing" 2017 result, looks to review food businesses in SEA

DAIRY Farm International Holdings reported a net profit attributable to shareholders of US$403.5 million (S$531.2 million) for the year ended Dec 31, 2017, down from US$469.0 million the year before.

The retail company said its "disappointing" showing for 2017 was due to "positive performances in most of the group's formats and key associates (being) offset by weakness in the supermarket and hypermarket businesses, largely in Southeast Asia".

Dairy Farm's profit was also affected by US$64 million in business change costs, which were incurred principally because of the closure of underperforming stores and stock clearance in its food division.

The group's total sales were up 7 per cent year-on-year, to US$21.8 billion, thanks mainly to the strong growth from its Shanghai-listed hypermarket and supermarket unit Yonghui Superstores and its Hong Kong Maxim's outlets.

Its earnings per share was down to 29.82 US cents, from 34.68 US cents.

Chairman Ben Keswick said, "After a disappointing year in 2017 for our food businesses in Southeast Asia, actions are being taken to improve their long-term performance.

"A strategic review is underway to determine the actions necessary to re-establish the competitive positions of these businesses and turn around their financial performance."

Dairy Farm shares finished Thursday US$0.05 up at US$8.22.