SINGAPORE (Aug 3): Challenger Technologies on Friday announced 2Q18 earnings increased by 2% to $4.0 million compared to $3.91 million in 2Q17 on stronger gross profit margins and lower expenses.

This brings 1H18 earnings to $9.22 million, 32% higher than $7.01 million in 1H17.

Revenue for the quarter however saw a 3% drop to $76.2 million from $78.8 million a year ago.

The decrease in revenue was primarily due to lower contribution from IT products and services, which saw a 2.8% y-o-y decline to $75.1 million. This in turn was attributed to lower revenue contribution from online marketplace, partially offset by improved performance from retail operations and revenue growth in both corporate sales and tradeshow division.

Revenue from the group’s electronic signage services business segment decreased to $0.1 million from $0.5 million, mainly due to partial completion of a major project in 2Q17.

Revenue from the telephonic call centre and data management services improved slightly by 10% y-o-y to $1.1 million, as more marketing projects were secured as compared to the same period last year.

As at June 30, the group’s cash and cash equivalents stood at $63.6 million.

Currently, the group total of 37 stores with one store to open in early-2019 at Paya Lebar Quarter.

The group has declared an interim dividend of 1.1 cents per share, which will be payable on Aug 24.

Chief executive Loo Leong Thye says, “After a year at our flagship [in Bugis Junction], we redecorated our store layout based on feedback from the operations team and customers. We will continuously improve customer shopping experience in order to increase our sales there.”

Shares in Challenger closed flat at 49 cents on Friday.