Reversal of fortune for FJ Benjamin after Gap exit

Singapore retailer FJ Benjamin has recorded a change of fortune, turning its first annual profit in four years.

The multi-brand retailer reported a pre-tax profit of S$939,000 for the year to June 30, compared to a loss of $16.5 million the previous year.

“We are encouraged by our 2018 operating results,” said CEO Nash Benjamin. “With improved consumer sentiment, we witnessed comparable store growth in most of our brands as well as full-year contributions from new stores opened during 2017.”

He said the company will now focus on growing the business organically with improved merchandise assortments and the implementation of a new Customer Relationship Management system.

Sales in Singapore and Malaysia last year grew by $16.2 million, however due to the discontinuation of a business overall revenue declined $39.9 million. The company shuttered its Gap and Banana Republic stores in February after opting not to renew the licence.

Gross profit margin improved four percentage points to 46 per cent due to higher margins from retained brands and the discontinuation of the less profitable labels.

Nash Benjamin said FJ Benjamin continues to evaluate prospects for introducing new brands into its portfolio.

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