TIGHT MARGINS BITE DICKSON NET

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Dickson Concepts International Ltd. on Thursday posted half-year results that fell far below year-ago figures.
For the six months ended Sept. 30, net income for the Hong Kong-based distributor dropped 78.3 percent to $866,538 compared with $4 million in the year-ago period. Sales were $133.7 million, 1.7 percent below the $136 million reported a year ago. In the current year, revenue from retail operations was $116.1 million while wholesale sales were $17.6 million. Results have been converted to U.S. dollars from Hong Kong dollars at the current exchange. Dickson releases earnings data on a semiannual basis.
The company said, “Given the extremely difficult trading conditions, sales were achieved at the expense of margins.” The company’s inventory position remained healthy during the six months, the company said, even though profits decreased.
The firm said that it has seen “further deterioration in trading conditions” since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. during a time when Asian economies were already performing poorly, and that it expects those conditions to continue through the end of its fiscal year in March 2002.
Nevertheless, Dickson Concepts, which has 1,826 employees, said it has a cash position of $25.7 million and is “perfectly positioned to take advantage of any investment opportunities of exceptional value.”
So far this year, 109 in-store shops and corners were opened. The company’s retail network throughout Asia includes 60 shops and corners in Hong Kong, 162 in Taiwan, 64 in China 22 in Singapore, 17 in Malaysia and eight in The Philippines.
Dickson distributes in Asia such brands as Chopard, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Polo Jeans Co., Tod’s, Benetton, Kenneth Cole, Coach, Brooks Bros. and Charles Jourdan.
The company in October 1998 opened two outlet stores in Hong Kong, selling off-season and specially selected merchandise. A third outlet opened in Taipei in June 1999. Dickson said Thursday that a comparable “outlet” concept was introduced at its Dickson Cyber mall at Kowloon Station and that it plans to reformat the site to give the outlet more space to offer a wider range of merchandise. Product categories include apparel, sporting goods, electronics, furniture and household merchandise.

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