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The Hour Glass clocks moderate 2% FY18 profit rise; expects to remain profitable

LUXURY watch retailer The Hour Glass booked relatively flat profit for the full 2018 fiscal year, despite a one-off relocation expense pegged to its Australia operations.

Profit attributable to company owners for the full year ended March 31, 2018 crept up 2 per cent to S$49.82 million from S$49.7 million the year before on the back of S$691.65 million in revenue, which slipped 1 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Operating expenses were higher on a one-time relocation expense of S$1.5 million incurred by The Hour Glass Australia.

The board has declared a final dividend of 2 Singapore cents per share for fiscal 2018, subject to approval at its July 30 annual general meeting.

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The group saw earnings per share rise to 7.07 Singapore cents from 6.91 Singapore cents last year, with net asset value similarly up to 72 Singapore cents from 68 Singapore cents.

In fiscal 2018, the group recorded a gross margin of 24.2 per cent, up from the 22.7 per cent in fiscal 2017, due in part to its "on-going business reengineering", which also resulted in "notable improvement" in its customer service standards, the group said in an exchange filing.

Fluctuation in the demand for luxury watches means the group has to stay "agile and tuned to the marketplace", said The Hour Glass' co-group managing director Michael Tay.

Looking ahead, the group believes consumer sentiment is expected to stay at current levels. It will continue to operate its 38 boutiques in 10 cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, while improving its retail network, brand portfolio and customer engagement and experience, the group said.

The counter ended unchanged at S$0.655 as at Tuesday's close, before it announced its earnings.