SINGAPORE (Oct 11): Duty Free International (DFI) announced that its 2Q18 earnings increased 1.6% to RM14.1 million ($4.53 million) from RM13.8 million in 2Q17.

Revenue for the three months ended August dropped 5.5% to RM148.3 million compared to RM157.0 million the previous year.

This was due to lower demand from customers in certain products following the implementation of Goods and Services Tax at border outlets and duty free zones from Jan 1.

In 2Q18, closing inventories widened 26.6% to a negative position of $24.5 million in 2Q18 from a negative position of $1.6 million in 2Q17, mainly due to timing differences in purchases and consumption of inventories in the respective quarters.

Other operating income increased to RM3.6 million from RM2.7 million.

Inventories purchased and material consumed narrowed by 26.6% to RM78.4 million in 2Q18 from RM106.8 million in 2Q17 mainly due to lower purchases compared to a year ago.

Other operating expenses decreased by 16% to RM5.4 million from RM6.4 million last year.

As at end August, cash and cash equivalent stood at RM270.4 million.

On the outlook, the group says that it will continue its efforts in identifying new market opportunities while keeping focused on its core business and broadening its customer base and products.

For 2Q18, the group has declared a second interim dividend of 0.5 cents, which is payable on Nov 2.

Shares in DFI closed at 28 cents on Wednesday.