Emart swings from loss in quarter

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Emart swings from loss in quarter

Emart swung to a profit in the third quarter from a loss in the second, though its performance still fell short of results in the same period a year earlier.

The company’s operating profit was 116.2 billion won ($104.2 million) in the July to September period, compared to a 29.9 billion won loss in the previous quarter and 194.6 billion won operating profit a year earlier, according to a preliminary report on Thursday.

Third quarter sales were 5.06 trillion won.

Emart explained it performed better than expected as losses at its Emart discount chain were smaller than anticipated and on special shopping events it held at Emart and Shinsegae starting late October. Shinsegae Group invested 10 billion won in the sales event.

The discount chain started adopting a price-cutting strategy in August, and the decline in sales has been slowing as a result.

It has been selling a bottle of Chilean wine at 4,900 won and also offered a range of daily necessities, like water and wet tissues, at affordable prices. Emart sold 840,000 bottles of that wine in the first 100 days following its introduction.

Emart said it plans to maintain the low-price strategy to draw customers who have many other shopping options, both online and offline.
SSG.com continued to suffer operating losses due to spending on marketing, but Emart said its sales grew 21.3 percent on-year.

Emart said it will focus on offline stores by expanding its Electro Mart stores and renewing food courts.

“Turning to profit in the third quarter is meaningful in that we overcame concerns about lagging performance,” said a spokesperson for Emart. “Although we are going through tough times, we will continuously try to find opportunities within challenges.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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