COURTS Asia sees earnings increase while cutting down on marketing costs

COURTS Asia has seen a rise in its earnings the past year for the financial year ending 31 March 2017. It achieved a net profit of SG$23.7 million, more than three times its restated profit for FY2015-2016 at SG$6.8 million.

However, distribution and marketing expenses saw a decrease to 7.6% of its revenue this year, down from 8.3% previously, due to lower advertising costs, said the report. These expenses amounted to SG$56.2 million in FY2016-2017, compared to SG$62.1 million in FY2015-2016.

According to COURTS Asia’s executive director and group CEO, Terence Donald O’Connor, the group’s financial performance was a result of a focus on driving cost and margin management.

“Over the course of FY2016-2017, the management team has also continued to invest in the business, differentiating the brand through solutions leadership,” O’Connor added.

In the year ahead, the company will leverage growth levers to expand solutions-selling in all of its categories. This is in a bid to transform off-line stores into experience centres and drive omni-channel execution “with urgency”.

Expansion plans in Malaysia and Indonesia underway

For the upcoming financial year, the group has unveiled plans to invest in new store openings across Malaysia and Indonesia. It is currently targeting to add a minimum of five new stores in each market by the end of FY2017-2018.

It also looks to refresh its existing stores in its three operating markets with a new “next-generation” concept. Through the refresh, the brand hopes to inspire consumers with the latest technology and home living trends, complete with an omni-channel offering.

COURTS is also exploring the option of “pop-up” stores, through the use of short-term leases that could potentially convert into permanent stores. This would be an interim measure to add market share as part of its store expansion strategy.

Meanwhile, COURTS Megastores in Malaysia and Indonesia continue to focus on giving a wider retail offering to customers. Most recently in Indonesia, COURTS Kota Harapan Indah Megastore welcomed Ramayana, one of Indonesia’s biggest fashion retailers, in its premises. In Malaysia, Decathlon expanded its tenanted area at COURTS Sri Damansara Megastore.

“Although economies have projected slight improvements, COURTS Asia expects challenges to persist in the retail environment. Nonetheless, the Group remains focused on its ongoing cost efficiency measures for sustainable efficiency management and will continue to drive its omni-channel strategy across all key markets,” O’Connor said.

Most recently in Singapore, COURTS appointed Jasmine Seow as merchandise director. Prior to her new role, she was marketing director for around three years. In her new role, she will be responsible for driving the company’s commercial strategies and bolstering COURTS’ merchandise and services in the new financial year.

In March, the retailer also unveiled plans to capitalise on the growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia by rebuilding its online business, through a partnership with premier e-commerce agency SmartOSC. The new strategy followed a recent revamping of its traditional brick and mortar stores to engage with customers more effectively.