SINGAPORE (Aug 1): BreadTalk today announced that its 2Q18 earnings have increased by 10.5% to $2.44 million from $2.20 million in 2Q17 on higher interest income.

In a media release issued on Wednesday, the group also attributed its increase in earnings to its effective cost management and diversity of brand portfolio.

This brings 1H18 earnings to $3.62 million, 72.2% lower than $13.0 million in 1H17, mainly due to higher expenses.

Revenue for the quarter saw a slight increase of 0.8% to $148.8 million, compared to $147.7 million a year ago, driven by growth by the group’s Food Atrium, Restaurant and the 4orth Food Concepts divisions. These three pillars of growth helped to equalise the sub-optimal Bakery Division’s performance.

Revenue for the Food Atrium division saw a 4.0% y-o-y increase to $38.8 million, driven by strong same store sales growth momentum across the entire tenant mix portfolio, especially in China.

The Restaurant division saw revenue increase by 7.1% y-o-y to $37.3 million as the group opened three more outlets during the period, bringing its total number of outlets to 27.

4orth Food Concepts revenue increased 53.0% y-o-y to $3.0 million, which comprises of five outlets of So Ramen in Singapore, two outlets of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh and one outlet of Una-Yu in Shanghai, China.

Revenue for the group’s Bakery division dropped 5.2% y-o-y to $68.6 million, mainly due to lower revenue from its direct operated stores in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, and franchise revenue from China.

Gross profit came in at $83.2 million 0.7% higher than $82.7 million last year.

Interest income saw a 297% jump to $1.18 million, compared to $0.30 million in the previous year.

Interest expenses also increased by 111.7% to $2.42 million from $1.14 million a year ago.

As at June 30, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $206.6 million.

The group is declaring an interim cash dividend of 0.5 cent which will be payable on Aug 21.

Looking ahead, the group says that it will stay focused on leveraging technology to improve its operational efficiency, cost management and increasing the reach of its portfolio of brands into existing and new markets. In addition, the group will also continue to develop its pipeline of new brands and getting them ready to launch in 2019.

Shares in BreadTalk closed 1 cent higher at $1.17 on Wednesday.