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F J Benjamin narrows FY15 loss

Retail group F J Benjamin's net loss for the financial year ended 30 June narrowed from S$22.1 million to S$16.99 million.

Revenue slid 20 per cent year on year to S$293.41 million amid a challenging year on the back of reduced business in North Asia, currency volatility as well as lower tourist arrivals. The group rationalised its store portfolio, which caused it to incur impairment charges for store closures, early termination of leases, stock provisions and redundancies.

"While this has impacted turnover, it has yielded significant improvements in the productivity of its stores across the region," the group said.

Loss per share came to 2.99 Singapore cents, versus a loss per share of 3.89 cents a year ago.

No dividend was declared for the current year. In the corresponding period a year ago, a first and final dividend of 0.25 cents per share was announced.

It said: "The group will complete its rationalisation and planned closure of two remaining stores by end December 2015. To address the shift in consumer trend and structural change in retail environment, it has also undertaken a restructuring of its in-house brand, Raoul, to improve performance on a reduced cost base."

It expects consumer sentiment to remain muted given global economic and political uncertainty. Meanwhile, it is striving to further improve inventory management and cost efficiencies.

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