Eslite Spectrum eyeing expansion

HIGH HOPES FOR HONG KONG::The company intends to generate economies of scale and increase overseas profitability with its planned expansion in Hong Kong

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 23, 2013 - Page 14

Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), a subsidiary of the Eslite Group (誠品集團) that operates department stores and restaurants, plans to add at least one store each in Hong Kong and China every year as it pursues steady growth momentum, a company official said yesterday.

Eslite Spectrum — which operates 42 department stores and nine food and beverage outlets throughout Taiwan and Hong Kong — said its first overseas department store, which opened in Hong Kong last year, has generated profits during its first four months, with sales performance in line with company expectations.

“Eslite Spectrum is intending to focus on expanding store numbers with a business model aimed at maintaining steady profitability rather than pursuing expansion only in terms of quantity,” Eslite president Mercy Wu (吳旻潔) told an investors’ conference.

With its planned expansion in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Peninsula and Central District over the next few years, Eslite Spectrum intends to generate economies of scale and increase the company’s overseas profitability, Wu said.

Meanwhile, the firm is scheduled to open its first department store in China’s Suzhou City in the fourth quarter of next year, she added.

Wu said the company is also considering participating in more build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects in Taiwan as part of its expansion strategy, potentially opening two to three new stores a year.

In addition, Eslite Spectrum is set to open its first boutique hotel in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park in the third quarter — the company’s most important project for this year.

Eslite Spectrum debuted its shares on the over-the-counter (OTC) GRETAI Securities Market at the end of January with an initial offer price of NT$156 per share.

The company saw its shares rise 0.8 percent to close at NT$190 yesterday, showing a 21.79 percent rally from its debut.

For the first three months of this year, Eslite Spectrum posted NT$83 million (US$2.77 million), or NT$1.89 per share, in consolidated net profit.

This was up from a net income of NT$72 million, or NT$1.75 per share, recorded a year earlier, statistics from the company showed.