Wong gung ho on net boom

Business | Tereza Cai 28 Mar 2019

Hong Kong Television Network (1137), which was transformed into an online shopping platform four years ago, reported its net loss narrowed 35.05 percent to HK$133.1 million last year.

No dividend was declared.

Turnover soared 84 percent to HK$896.4 million, mainly driven by direct merchandise sales of HK$685.9 million, almost double the HK$346.2 million of 2017.

Chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay said: "If you give me four years more, I could even make the business skyrocket."

The company announced last March it would exit the TV business and focus on HKTV mall.

Wong said the company had covered costs since May. Before that, Wong had said that online shopping recorded a loss.

The value of merchandise sold soared 77 percent to HK$1.89 billion, with supermarket products accounting for 34 percent, 18 percent from electrical appliances and 17 percent from personal-care and skin-care products.

Wong attributed the growth to the diversity of products that HKTV mall provides, saying that the company's performance indicated huge demand for e-commerce in Hong Kong.

He set the full-year target of gross merchandise value at HK$3.2 billion, up almost 70 percent from 2018.

Besides the online shopping platform, the company has 46 O2O shops, with 120 shops expected by year-end.

Wong added that the business is still at the investment stage, which will continue for a period, saying those investors looking for high dividends could turn to others.

He also expressed his confidence in the business as the company has enough capital to win the battle, with about HK$100 million current assets and properties worth HK$1 billion.

It plans to expand the automated warehousing system phase three, which will bring daily capacity to about 35,000 orders, compared with 10,000 orders a day now.

Phase two will start later this month, with daily capacity to be 20,000 orders.

Wong said the company saw 12,000 orders at the end of 2018.

He said if orders expand, the company will gain price bargaining power, and the commission fee will rise accordingly.

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