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LifeBrandz's Q2 net loss widens to S$510,000 as business deals drive up costs

CATALIST-listed entertainment group LifeBrandz saw losses widen in the second quarter amid burgeoning expenses, it said on Thursday.

It posted a net loss of S$510,000 for the three months to Jan 31, or 80 per cent more than the loss of S$282,000 the year before.

Revenue more than quadrupled in the same period, rising from S$231,000 to S$916,000.

About three-quarters of turnover came from the new transactions of tourism business e-Holidays Co. LifeBrandz was given shareholders' green light to branch out of food and beverage (F&B), into travel services and financial technology (fintech) at an extraordinary general meeting in August 2017.

Sales were also higher by about 11 per cent at LifeBrandz's Irish pub in Pattaya, Thailand.

"The outlet is continuously exploring and rolling out marketing and promotion activities to enhance sales transactions," the company said.

"The F&B industry is still very competitive with the management and operations working collectively to maintain the business performance and activities for the outlet concept."

But the increase in revenue was offset by significantly higher spending, which jumped to S$1.44 million, from S$514,000 previously.

"The increase in expenses is directly contributed from the increase in business set-ups and transactions in the reported quarter," LifeBrandz noted.

The company said that it is "in (the) process of streamlining the fintech and travel businesses to attain business feasibilities and operation activities of these related segments".

Loss per share was 0.26 Singapore cent, against a restated loss of 0.46 Singapore cent a share in the same period the year before. The number of ordinary shares has swelled on a rights issue and the placement of new shares.

LifeBrandz is also now in the midst of a renounceable non-underwritten rights issue of up to 388 million new ordinary shares.

"The group continues to remain cautious about the outlook and condition of the overall business environment," LifeBrandz said in its announcement.

"The board is mindful of the intense competition of the related industry and will continue to explore business opportunities including fund-raising exercises to position and transform its business profile and strategic direction."

The company announced earlier in the week that it plans to buy Singapore-based restaurant operator Ramen Champion for up to S$4 million, to be financed by an unsecured, interest-free director's loan from chief executive Hiroyuki Saito.

LifeBrandz closed flat at 1.6 Singapore cents on Thursday.