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This should have positive effects for Kingsmen too, as they work closely with FJ Benjamin!

Business Times - 01 Dec 2010

FJB taking its Raoul brand global

SINGAPORE fashion retailer FJ Benjamin plans to bring its in-house brand Raoul to shoppers in fashion capitals such as New York and Paris, and expects the line to start contributing to its profits in 12-18 months, its chief executive said.

The company operates franchise stores of international brands such as Guess and Givenchy, but also has its own label Raoul, which sells men's and women's fashion wear and accessories. Currently, Raoul contributes slightly less than 10 per cent to the firm's total sales and has stores mainly in South-east Asia, but has been unable to break even due in part to the investment costs involved for its expansion.

'A year-and-a-half ago, we said it's time we took this brand overseas. Just to be a brand in South-east Asia doesn't lend any merit to the brand,' FJ Benjamin chief executive Nash Benjamin told Reuters in an interview last week.

'We felt Raoul is a brand you can take global, depending on how you approach it,' he added.

The company is close to signing a deal with a major US department store to carry its Raoul collection, Mr Benjamin said.

Raoul is currently carried by department stores Harrod's and Matches in London.

The label's clothes and accessories have been featured in top fashion magazines such as Vogue, which has helped to raise its international profile.

As a part of its plans to expand into big fashion markets in the west, FJ Benjamin has opened a Raoul showroom in New York and the brand also shows in Paris fashion week twice a year.

FJ Benjamin plans to enter the US and European markets by selling its collection through department stores or multi-label speciality stores first, so that it has a better gauge of the demand in different markets before committing to opening its own stores.

Besides ramping up sales in the US and Europe, FJ Benjamin has also set its sights on tapping into China's booming affluent middle-income group.

Mr Benjamin said the company could open its first Raoul stores in China in autumn of 2011 or 2012, and would likely start out by opening its own stores as its distribution channels are not as sophisticated.

'Besides the domestic market in China which is growing, China also has a huge amount of tourists who travel overseas and shop when they do, so having a presence in China is important for the total internationalisation of the brand,' he said.

The firm also owns the franchise to operate stores for US clothing chain Gap in South-east Asia, where it has seen double-digit growth in same-store sales.

This is in contrast to Gap sales in the US, which have been sluggish ahead of the Christmas holiday season amid a faltering economic recovery.

'Our Gap stores are doing very well. We've had double-digit (same store sales) growth, not just in Singapore but in Malaysia and Indonesia as well. It's very much the product for South-east Asia: everyone wears jeans and T-shirts here,' Mr Benjamin said.

He expects to open six new Gap stores over the next three years in South- east Asia, as the region's booming economy boosts retail demand.

FJ Benjamin also operates four stores in Marina Bay Sands. Mr Benjamin said that sales at these stores were below expectations, but expects to see their business progressively improving.

'We are confident on the growth potential of Raoul given its strong revenue growth from $1 million in 2006 to $20 million in 2010, and its recent break- through into the Europe and the US,' says Standard Chartered in a report.

The broker, which has an 'outperform' rating and target price of $0.55 on the stock, said that it expects Raoul to grow into a $300-$400 million business in the next five to 10 years.

Shares of FJ Benjamin were down half a cent to 37 cents yesterday. The stock has gained about 17 per cent so far this year, outperforming a 9 per cent gain for the broader Singapore market -
the company posted a strong set of results for 2Q10. if everything goes one well, we can see an increase in dividends for the full year to slightly more than 2 cents per share that was declared for the previous full year.
An interview (see attached) with Nash Benjamin of F J Benjamin in TODAY Sunday Edition. He intends to conquer the world with Raoul, their house-brand! This will also translate into more business for Kingsmen, who help to fit-out Raoul stores! Big Grin

(Not Vested)
Anyone looking at this company? Seems like they're quite generous to shareholders... And very much pegged to the luxury retail sector.

Expansion plans seems go in line with what the management says in its AR with recent moves to optimize its day to day operations to reduce overheads.
(20-12-2011, 10:34 PM)piggo Wrote: [ -> ]Anyone looking at this company? Seems like they're quite generous to shareholders... And very much pegged to the luxury retail sector.

Expansion plans seems go in line with what the management says in its AR with recent moves to optimize its day to day operations to reduce overheads.

I remember taking a quick glance at its financial. Noticed that the margins were quite slim, so I lost interest as my portfolio screen is >10% nett margin. Maybe it has to invest in product branding?
Of late no trading and looking at OCEAN SKy now too high, can this 1 plan to grow its own brand really go international. Looks like Aberdeen is pretty comfortable with FJ plan and last bought into it probably to test if FJ heading the right direction.

Its too cheap to ignore or is it making some miss step on the branding? Roaul need to give discount always to bring in customers. With Crocodile brand so successful and even our own local Charles and Keith so successful, why cant FJ succeed??
 First RAOUL store to open in China in mid-September 2013
 Franchisee Budy (Chongqing) Import & Export Trading to open 27 stores in
key cities in China by 2017
 Franchise interest in RAOUL grows, more deals likely to be inked

Based on SGX announcement.
Latest results released with pretty much a deterioration of business.

"In North Asia, the timepiece business in Hong Kong fell 26% while in China, it declined 47%. The slowdown in demand for luxury timepieces in China and reduced tourist spending by mainland Chinese visitors in Hong Kong were major factors behind the lower sales."

Bloke seems to be burning cash for the past 2 years and now stuck with a growing inventory pile, together with -ve FCF. It will be interesting to see how/if it manages to reverse its fortunes...
Luckily, there is an agreement to repurchase all its remaining Girard-Perregaux inventory of watches and accessories at its landed cost for approximately S$30 million. If not : 赔了夫人又折兵.

Quote:13 December 2013

The Board of Directors of F J Benjamin Holdings Ltd (the "Company") wishes to announce that the Company and its subsidiaries (the "Group") and Sowind SA, manufacturer of Girard-Perregaux watches, have agreed that the Group's exclusive distributorship agreements for Girard-Perregaux watches in North Asia and Southeast Asia will not be renewed when they expire on 28th February 2014.

The Group has entered into an agreement with Sowind SA for them to repurchase all its remaining inventory of watches and accessories at its landed cost by end February 2014. The value of its inventory at the date of this Announcement amounts to approximately S$30 million.

<not vested>
Interesting that Aberdeen sold out after the big loss in 3Q results, at a substantially higher price than was prevalent in the market.

The price before their sell out was 19.6 cents.

On the day of their sales, it shot up to 22.5-23 cents.

Now, the price is back to 19.6 cents.

Below NAV, but does not seem to have any catalyst.

Am attaching the Aberdeen form as well as the 3Q results
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