KUALA LUMPUR: Integrated jewellery manufacturer and retailer Tomei Consolidated Bhd is still cautious in setting a target for the 2022 financial year on concerns over market sentiment due to the ongoing uncertainties.
However, managing director Datuk Ng Yih Pyng said the group hopes to improve its performance to lift the company’s profitability.
"Although the group was not directly impacted by foreign labour cost, we believe it would affect our sales and overall performance (indirectly).
"We are still cautious (in setting a target) because of the (higher) staff cost, foreign labour cost and external factors like the war in Ukraine and the US dollar performance," he said after the group's annual general meeting (AGM) today.
As such, Ng said the group needs to provide better in-store and after-sales services, as well as embark on creative marketing to attract customers to ensure that Tomei continues to be their choices.
As all jewellers are selling similar products, he said Tomei has to come out with more fashionable and unique jewellery designs while improving their quality for customer satisfaction.
On the company's expansion plan, he said Tomei plans to open at least three new stores in the country by end-2022, after opening two new stores, one each in Langkawi, Kedah and Tunjung, Kelantan early this year.
"We plan to open two or three more stores in Malaysia by year-end. However, we have not decided on the locations yet,” he said, adding that the company is considering the East Coast where it has yet to have any outlets.
"We might also relocate a few stores based on their performance for future growth. Actually, we don't set a target on store expansion but if there is an opportunity, we will open (new ones)," he said.
He added that the average cost of opening a new store would be RM5 million. Tomei currently has a total of 57 stores nationwide.
On the impact of the falling ringgit, Ng said Tomei does not made any predictions on gold price.
"Generally, the weakening of the ringgit will cause gold price in ringgit to be higher. But, when the US Federal Reserve increased the interest rate, gold price in dollar has weakened slightly but it is compensated by the depreciation of the ringgit," he said.
Meanwhile, Tomei today announced it achieved a net profit of RM15.77 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 (Q1 2022), up 15 per cent from RM13.76 million a year ago due to a better gross profit margin.
However, revenue fell by four per cent to RM234.15 million from RM244.16 million previously, mainly due to the lower revenue from its manufacturing and wholesales (M&W) segment, it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
Its retail segment posted a better revenue of RM174.48 million compared with RM164.57 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.
"Following our aggressive marketing effort and upon the gradual re-opening of the economy since August 2021, the retail segment has been enjoying good demand from customers," the company said.
In contrast, revenue from the M&W segment dipped 32 per cent year-on-year to RM60.73 million from RM89.61 million previously.
During the AGM today, Tomei shareholders approved the first and final dividend of three sen per share in respect to the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021, which will be paid on June 9, 2022, to shareholders on the register as at May 25, 2022.
The company said this amounts to a total dividend payout of RM4.2 million. - Bernama