SINGAPORE (May 14): Best World International saw a 40.6% drop in 1Q18 earnings to $5.8 million from $9.7 million a year ago.

Group revenue for 1Q18 was 43.3% lower at $25.4 million from a year ago, primarily due to minimal export to China as the group started its conversion from the export segment to a new China wholesale segment.

Sales from the group’s direct selling business declined by 28.6% to $16.8 million due to decline in revenue from Taiwan offsetting improvements from Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Sales from manufacturing/wholesale segment decreased 6.7% to $0.8 million. Management says it will continue its marketing effort in this segment to increase demand for its Aurigen line of health supplements from China drugstore wholesalers.

As at March 31, total membership for the group’s direct selling business increased 2.1% to 500,259 members from a year ago. Active distributors, which refers to members who have received commission over the last 12 months, stands at 9.8% of total membership.

Management is cautiously optimistic that the China wholesale segment will contribute to the growth in the bottomline for the group in 2H2018.

Shares in Best World closed at $1.45 on Monday.