No Signboard fiscal 1Q loss widens on temporary outlet closure, lower customer spending

The No Signboard Seafood outlet at VivoCity mall in Singapore; taken in 2018.The No Signboard Seafood outlet at VivoCity mall in Singapore; taken in 2018.

Iconic Singapore chili crab restaurateur No Signboard Holdings reported on Friday its net loss widened in its fiscal first quarter as one seafood outlet was closed for a month for major repair works and as average spending per customer fell.

Earnings were also hurt by the restructuring of its beer business, which included terminating non-performing sales contracts of entertainment-establishment customers, No Signboard said.

It reported a net loss of S$573,643 for the quarter ended 31 December, wider than a loss of S$416,366 in the year-earlier quarter, it said.

Revenue dropped 16.1 percent on-year in the quarter to S$5.61 million, it said in a filing to SGX on Friday. No dividend was declared, compared with a year-ago dividend of 0.31 Singapore cent a share.

On the upside, launching new outlets under new brands — two Hawker outlets and one Little Sheep Hotpot outlet — in the first quarter contributed 3.1 percent of total revenue in the quarter, it said.

No Signboard said its iconic seafood restaurant business was still profitable. It plans to open two more Hawker brand outlets and one outlet under the Mom’s Touch brand, which it has obtained under an exclusive franchise agreement for Singapore and Malaysia, the filing said.

“While the group continues to work on the development of new brands to satisfy the pallets in the different market segment, it also continues to work on its overseas expansion plans,” No Signboard said in its outlook. “With the completion of the beer business restructuring exercise, the beer business will work on expanding the distribution channels for the beer in according with the new sales strategy.”

In late December, Lim Lay Hoon, chief operating officer and executive director, told Shenton Wire she expected the business to stabilize ahead.

“Because the company just listed last year and because we have all the projects coming all in awhile, it will actually take some time to build up and to stabilize all the entities,” she said on the sidelines of the opening day of the company’s first Little Sheep Hotpot restaurant outlet in Singapore last month

Lim had said the beer business have its new products would be on the market very soon, adding that “the whole look is different,” with new packaging. The offerings would include canned beer, as well as bottles, she said..

“We used to have this problem: We have the bottles but no beer, [or] beer, but no bottles,” she said, adding that now all of the production has been consolidated at a new brewery in Vietnam.


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