Focus Point sets its sights on a better FY15

PETALING JAYA: Focus Point Holdings Bhd is committed to achieving better results for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2015 (FY15) than FY14 despite the challenging environment for retailers.

President and CEO Datuk Liaw Choon Liang said 2015 is a challenging year in Malaysia because of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, observing that market sentiment was soft in the last two months.

"We've to overcome this and be more aggressive in marketing and promotions," he told reporters after the company's AGM here.

The group plans to reduce its losses in its food and beverage (F&B) business and to grow its profit in the optical business.

F&B, which constitutes 13% to the group's contribution in FY14, is still registering losses due to the huge initial investment. The group operates the homegrown Komugi bakery cafe and three Japanese restaurants.

Liaw said it plans to open two new Komugi outlets in Shah Alam and Kuching, bringing the total number of Komugi outlets in Malaysia to 10 by year-end, from eight currently. The investment is about RM500,000 per outlet.

In the Philippines, it will also open two new outlets (Kumori) in the next two months, totaling four outlets by year-end.

"We're still discussing with other countries. We plan to expand Komugi regionally within Asean," said Liaw.

On the optical business, the group has opened six optical outlets in Malaysia so far and will be opening another 10 to 11 outlets in the remaining months this year.

"The vision care or optical business is still our core business and we still put a lot weight in it."

This includes the introduction of Whoosh, a concept outlet selling budget eyewear, targeting the middle to lower income group and fashion savvy customers. Liaw said five Whoosh outlets will be opened by year end.

"This is another business model that we'll focus on in the next two years and we believe there's a demand for this," said Liaw.

Its CFO Chua Tian Pang said the group's balance sheet is still resilient while its gearing ratio remained at healthy levels, and that the group's business is viable and cash generating.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2015, the group's net profit doubled to RM2.15 million from RM1.04 million a year ago, attained by the optical and related products segment and lower operating loss incurred by the F&B segment.

It also posted a higher revenue of RM42.65 million compared with RM40.23 million in the previous corresponding quarter, backed by higher contribution from the optical and related products segment.