Hong Kong Slowdown Hits Chow Sang Sang

RAPAPORT…

 Chow Sang Sang saw a sharp drop in
sales last year, the Hong Kong-based jeweler reported Monday, citing weak consumer sentiment and a decline in tourist levels.

Group revenue slid 16% to $2.07
billion (HKD 16.09 billion) in 2016, according to a company statement. Sales in Hong
Kong and Macau fell 23% to $1.11 billion (HKD
8.65 billion), with mainland China revenue slipping 4.6% to $944.9 million (HKD
7.34 billion). Profit slumped 34% to $95.5 million (HKD 742.2 million).

A sluggish economy resulted in
lower consumption in regions where the retailer is active, especially Hong
Kong, the company explained. The strong Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to
its U.S. counterpart, made the municipality a less attractive tourist
destination. This had a notable impact on visits from mainland China, which
dropped 6.7 percent, Chow Sang Sang pointed out.

Meanwhile, despite an increase of more
than 20% in the price of gold during the year – a consequence of global
economic and political uncertainty – there was no corresponding rise in demand
for gold jewelry, the retailer said. The company’s sales in this category slid
34% by volume in Hong Kong and Macau as a result.

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