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United Food sees quarterly net loss widen to 27.6m yuan

MAINBOARD-LISTED United Food Holdings saw loss attributable to owners widen to 27.6 million yuan (S$5.5 million) for the three months ended March 31 from a loss of 13.44 million yuan in the year-ago period, the firm said in its results release on Wednesday.

This was despite revenue rising to 10 million yuan, more than 3.5 times the 2.82 million yuan figure in the year-ago period. The revenue was mainly from the group's trading segment. The firm is also a producer and supplier of soya bean products and animal feed in China.

The quarter saw administrative expenses of 13 million yuan, a rise of 12.3 million yuan, due mainly to the consolidation of administrative expenses of newly-acquired subsidiaries.

Loss per share for the quarter was 0.17 yuan, widening from 0.09 yuan previously. No dividend was declared.

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The firm had said on Dec 3 last year that it had posted three consecutive years of pre-tax losses, based on audited full-year consolidated accounts. But its financial year has changed to end on March 31 of each year, from previously ending on Dec 31.

A company is put on the Singapore Exchange's watch-list if it posts three straight years of pre-tax losses, and has an average daily market value of less than S$40 million over the last six months. United Food's latest six-month average daily market value stood at S$41.5 million as at Nov 30, 2018.

In its latest results release, United Food said it expected to be affected by "the volatile and changing business landscape" arising from trade developments between China and the United States. It added that it expects its trading segment to slow down due to exchange rate volatility of the yuan against the US dollar.

For its animal feed, traditional medicine and additives segment, United Food noted that its newly-acquired subsidiaries have not been operating at full production capacity. It said it is actively sourcing for new customers and looking at other new income streams for its products.

United Food closed unchanged at 11 Singapore cents on Wednesday before the results release.