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No Signboard sinks into the red with Q2 net loss of S$337,500

WHITE pepper crab restauranteur No Signboard Holdings, whose chief executive was arrested and is on bail amid a share buyback probe, sunk into the red with a net loss of S$337,500 in the second quarter ended March 31.

This was because of startup expenses for its hotpot and quick-serve restaurants that began operations in the first quarter, the loss of revenue from the temporary closure of a restaurant outlet and the termination of non-performing sales contracts in its beer business in Q1 2019, the group said on Friday.

Revenue slipped 0.6 per cent to S$6.8 million, as the restaurant business saw a drop in average spending per customer, while its hotpot and quick-serve restaurants began contributing revenue. Moreover, its beer segment revenue was also weak due to increased competition in the industry, it added.

But the restaurant business' expansion in the first quarter also led to an overall increase in employee benefits, operating lease expenses and other operating expenses in the second quarter.

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In particular, employee benefits rose 18.3 per cent to S$2.6 million. Operating lease expenses rose 36.8 per cent to nearly S$992,400. Other operating expenses rose 7.7 per cent to S$1.2 million due to running expenses for the new outlets.

Loss per share was 0.07 cent as opposed to earnings per share of 0.1 cent in the year-ago period.

The company said its seafood restaurant business remains profitable and the group plans to open one more outlet under the Hawker brand by the third quarter of 2019. It already opened one such food kiosk at Jewel Changi Airport in April 2019.

It has also identified the premises for a new seafood restaurant in Shanghai. The group's cash position is S$19.7 million, which it believes will support the group through its gestation period during expansion.

No Signboard closed unchanged at S$0.08 on Friday before the results announcement.