SINGAPORE (July 30): Sheng Siong reported 2Q18 earnings increased 6.3% to $17.2 million from $16.1 million in 2Q17.

This brings 1H18 earnings to $35.4 million, 6.5% higher than $33.3 million in 1H17.

Revenue during the quarter increased by 5.7% to $213.0 million from $201.5 million a year ago, mainly due to contributions from new stores, comparable same store sales and higher contribution from the group’s stores in China.

However, this was offset by the permanent closure of The Verge and Woodlands Block 6A stores.

Similarly, cost of sales increased by 4.6% y-o-y to $154.8 million, bringing 2Q18 gross profit to $58.1 million, 8.7% higher than $53.5 million last year.

As at June 30, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $75.7 million.

The group has declared an interim cash dividend of 1.65 cents per share for the period, which will be payable on Aug 23. 

On July 13, the group opened two new stores in Bukit Batok and Yishun, expanding its total retail square footage to 447,000 sq ft and store count to 50.

Lim Hock Chee, group CEO of Sheng Siong says, “In line with our commitment to expand our retail network across Singapore, particularly in areas we do not have a presence, we will stay focused but disciplined to look for new retail space. Nurturing the growth of our new stores in Singapore and China, and rejuvenating the old stores remain one of our key priorities. We will continue with our efforts in lowering input cost by improving the sales mix with a higher proportion of fresh produce, and increasing labour productivity by deploying smart processes and systems.”

Shares in Sheng Siong closed 2 cents lower at $1.07 on Monday.