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Cost cutting leads to Q1 profit for GTI

Publicly-listed garments firm Grand Twins International made a small profit this quarter by slashing its costs, although that didn’t stop the company from taking a hit to its revenues, according to its first-quarter results released yesterday.

First-quarter revenues for GTI, one of the two companies listed on Cambodia’s stock exchange, dropped 7.5 per cent – or $1.2 million – compared to the most recent quarter at the end of last year, clocking in at $14.7 million.

However, GTI managed to turn a net profit of over $628,000 – compared to a loss of $913,000 last quarter – largely thanks to an almost 30 per cent slash in its materials costs.

Ken Loo, secretary general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said that despite some firms “clawing back” profits by cutting expenses, Cambodia’s garment industry was struggling to compete due to the minimum wage increase to $128 which went into effect at the start of this year.

“I don’t see how any factories can be in any better position,” he said.

Loo said that garment factories had been left to absorb the wage increase without corresponding decreases in logistics, transport or energy outlays.

“And I certainly don’t think productivity has jumped 28 per cent overnight,” he added.

GTI’s stock price declined almost 5 per cent yesterday to 5,760 riel or $1.41 a share.

The stock is down a full dollar from its initial listing price of $2.41 last June.

Earnings per share stood at 63 riel, or 1.5 cents.

Svay Hay, president and CEO of Acleda Securities brokerage firm, said GTI’s profit increase was nevertheless a good signal for investors.

“The periodic increase will contribute to the year-end profit, so it’s a good sign for stockholders, especially income-approach investors who invest more at the upward trend,” he wrote in an email.

Hay added that he expected the stock exchange to perform better as more companies tentatively list this year and in 2016.

GTI’s revenue declined less than the previous two quarters.

For the third and fourth quarter of 2014, the firm’s earnings decreased 40 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.



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