Typhoons fail to dampen Sa Sa International sales

Despite typhoons and poor tourist numbers buffeting sales for discount cosmetics chain Sa Sa International Holdings in its second quarter, it still managed to grow turnover.

Its retail and wholesale turnover increased by 1.1 per cent year on year to HK$1.918 billion (US$245.9 million), the company’s unaudited update shows. Covering the period to September 30, the figures include National Day Golden Week Holiday.

Retail sales in Hong Kong/Macau grew by 2.1 per cent to $1.574 billion, while same-store sales fell by 1.8 per cent following stores being relocated in tourist areas.

“The overall sales performance was below our expectations because of typhoons and poor weather, resulting in weaker store traffic and tourist numbers,” says the company.

There were 4.6 million transactions, down by 1.8 per cent, with those of local and mainland tourists dropping by 1.1 and 2.5 per cent respectively. However, the average transaction value was up by 5.9 and 3.8 per cent respectively.

Turnover grew in other markets – 5.9 per cent for Mainland China, 4.2 per cent for Singapore and 0.5 per cent for Malaysia, while for Taiwan e-commerce improved by 4.1 per cent while turnover had a 15.5 per cent dive.

Losses narrowed

Sa Sa says consistent improvements in efficiency in China and e-commerce noticeably narrowed down operating losses. There was also further improvement for its house brand mix and gross profit margin in the Hong Kong and Macau markets.

“However, the group’s weaker-than-expected sales performance in the first half-year together with the extra costs arising from warehouse relocation in Hong Kong and brand promotion offset these positive impacts. Nevertheless, the group stays cautiously optimistic about the outlook of Hong Kong and Macau in the second half.”

Retail sales in Hong Kong and Macau increased by about 3 per cent for the National Day Golden Week Holiday, while same-store sales were flat. The average sales per transaction of mainland customers increased by about 3 per cent while the number of transactions stayed flat.

The Sa Sa store count was steady at 283 despite individual market fluctuations. For Hong Kong and Macau, there were 116 stores at the end of the period compared with 113 at the same time last year.

Mainland China gained one outlet to reach 54, while Malaysia grew to 73 stores from 68. There were drops in Singapore (19 from 23) and Taiwan (21 from 26).

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