SINGAPORE (Nov 2): Challenger Technologies posted $4.5 million in earnings for the 3Q ended Sept, 44% higher its restated earnings of $3.1 million a year ago on higher revenue as well as lower operating expenses.

Revenue for the quarter grew 6% to $82.5 million from $77.8 million previously, mainly due to higher contribution from IT products and services as both the corporate sales and tradeshow divisions booked revenue growth.

This was however offset in part by lower revenue contributions from the electronic signage services business segment compared to a year ago, on the back of partial completion of a major project in 3Q17.

Meanwhile, other expenses fell 6% to $5.3 million on lower other operating expenses and selling & distribution costs – while employee benefits expense came in 2% lower at $5.8 million.

The group attributes its overall lower operating expenses to its management’s cost control efforts.

Going forward, the group says it remains cautious about the outlook and condition of the overall retail business environment. It will therefore continue to execute its ongoing cost management measures, while also striving to increase its revenue from omnichannel retailing.

Challenger is looking to open its Musica Boutique at ION Orchard by Nov 2018 with a focus on mid- and high-end media equipment. Another new concept, PIT.money, at JCube has also been operational since August 2018, retailing demo and pre-owned IT and other related products.

“New concepts such as Musica Boutique and PIT.money are necessary to keep our retail offerings fresh and relevant to the consumer market,” says Challenger CEO Loo Leong Thye.

Shares in the group closed flat at 47 cents on Friday.