Local sales of I.T lift 6.2 pct in H1

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Clothing retailer I.T Ltd saw its sales in the city post a year-on-year increase of 6.2 per cent for the six months ended August 31 this year, although it registered a net loss for the period. The company told Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday that it had fallen into the red during the first six months of its fiscal year, posting a net loss of HK$31 million (US$3.86 million) from a net profit of HK$49.4 million during the same period of last year. It explained in the filing that the loss was due to converting its Renminbi fixed deposits, amounting to 1.19 billion yuan (HK$1.45 billion), into Hong Kong dollars in order to minimise future exposure to RMB exchange risk in August this year, and because of a total non-recurring foreign exchange loss of HK$79.6 million. During the six months, the retailer’s sales in the Special Administrative Region totalled HK$101 million. ‘Macau has continued to show modest growth despite lower-than-expected tourist traffic,’ the company remarked. EBITDA generated from the business in the territory reached HK$35.9 million, up nearly 3 per cent from HK$34.8 million one year ago. In addition, its operating profit jumped 2 per cent year-on-year to HK$31.8 million in the Macau market. Meanwhile, the company’s retail sales in Mainland China significantly increased by19.1 per cent year-on-year to HK$1.33 billion during the period. However, the retailer saw its sales in Hong Kong fall 3.6 per cent year-on-year to HK$1.57 billion due to ‘consumer spending still lacking positive momentum.’

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