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Duty Free Q4 net profit falls 47.8% to RM9.3m on unrealised forex loss, absence of one-off gain

AN unrealised foreign exchange loss of RM5.7 million (S$1.9 million) and the absence of a one-off gain from the year-ago period dented results for Duty Free International in its fourth quarter.

The unrealised loss had negated a realised foreign exchange gain of RM1.1 million for the period.

Net profit fell 47.8 per cent to RM9.3 million from RM17.8 million in the year-ago period and earnings per share (EPS) dropped to 0.76 sen from 1.49 sen, Duty Free said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Wednesday evening.

However, for the three months ended Feb 28, revenue increased 13.8 per cent to RM170.8 million from RM150 million the previous year. The growth in revenue was due partly to an increase in demand for certain products and sales mix, the duty free and duty paid retail group said.

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Net asset value per share edged up to 47.78 sen as at Feb 28, from 44.88 sen a year ago.

For the full year, net profit fell 2 per cent to RM620.1 million; gross revenue dived 42.7 per cent to RM72.7 million and EPS decreased 45.1 per cent to 3.42 sen.

The total dividend declared per ordinary share for the full year stood at S$0.0185.

Said Duty Free: "With the rising inflationary costs and cautious consumer purchasing sentiment, the business environment in which the group operates in is expected to remain challenging."

The group will continue to initiate measures to mitigate business risks surrounding the operating environment as well as strategies to strengthen its customer base and distribution channels so as to remain competitive and profitable in the next 12 months, it added.

Duty Free International shares finished S$0.005 or 2.3 per cent down at S$0.21 on Wednesday.