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DFI RETAIL GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED – Q1 2023 Interim Management Statement

18 May 2023

Hamilton, Bermuda:  18 May 2023 – In a filing with the Bermuda Stock Exchange, DFI Retail Group Holdings Limited, (the Company”) today, issued its Interim Management Statement for the first quarter of 2023. The full filing stated:


The Group saw significantly improved year-on-year performance in the period. The Group’s

subsidiaries reported a modest increase in operating profit, with a strong recovery in the

Health and Beauty and Convenience divisions mostly offset by lower results in the Grocery

Retail division, as consumer buying patterns normalised following exceptional performance

in the first quarter of 2022 and digital investments continued. Underlying profitability for

associates increased significantly, with Maxim’s achieving much improved performance.


North Asia Grocery Retail sales were lower than in the equivalent period last year, when

demand was boosted by the fifth wave of COVID in Hong Kong. Southeast Asia Grocery

Retail sales performance was impacted by cautious customer shopping behaviour, driven by

rising cost of living pressures. Although Grocery Retail profitability reduced relative to the

first quarter of 2022, it remained higher than in the first quarter of 2019, with particularly

encouraging market share growth in Wellcome.


The Convenience division reported strong like-for-like sales growth across all markets in the

first quarter, as economies reopened. 7-Eleven Hong Kong reported strong like-for-like sales

growth, underpinned by the effective execution of a range of commercial activities including

new product development and effective promotions. 7-Eleven South China reported

improving sales momentum across the quarter, driven by strong promotion execution,

Improved foot traffic and strong progress in the digitisation of customer-facing systems.


Overall profitability for the division, though still below 2019, improved significantly compared

to the prior year, driven by strong year-on-year sales recovery.


The Group’s Health and Beauty division reported substantial sales and profit growth in the

quarter. In North Asia, Mannings saw double-digit like-for-like sales growth, as Hong Kong’s

border with the Chinese mainland reopened and health-related sales remained strong. Effective

in-store execution led to a record market share in Hong Kong. In Southeast Asia, Guardian also

reported strong sales growth compared to the prior year, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Overall profitability of the division more than doubled, leveraging sales recovery as well as

ongoing promotional optimisation and robust cost control. While overall Health and Beauty

profitability remains below 2019 levels, the early pace of recovery is encouraging.


Home Furnishings sales revenue in the first quarter was behind that in the same period last year.

Sales were impacted by reduced demand for furniture, with border reopening likely driving

short-term discretionary spending toward leisure activities, particularly in Hong Kong and

Taiwan. Profitability for the division has also reduced relative to the prior year due to these

trading challenges, with the impact on profitability partially offset by robust cost control. IKEA

remains focussed on delivering increased accessibility through format innovation and new



Revenue and profit for Maxim’s, the Group’s 50%-owned associate, grew substantially in the

first quarter relative to the prior year, due to increased restaurant patronage, as COVID-related

restraints on trading fell away in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.


Yonghui’s first quarter sales were impacted by the absence of panic buying seen in the same

period last year. Despite this, reported profitability increased in the period, supported by higher

gross margins and reduced costs. Robinsons Retail reported robust like-for-like sales growth

in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the prior year, with strong performances from the

supermarket, drugstores, department stores and convenience stores segments, which together

delivered double-digit revenue growth. Robinsons’ underlying profitability also increased,

although reported profitability was impacted by higher interest expenses, foreign exchange

movements and lower earnings from associates.


On 2nd May 2023, the Group announced that Ian McLeod would be succeeded by Scott Price

as Group Chief Executive of DFI Retail Group Holdings Limited with effect from 1st August



The Group remains optimistic on the outlook for the remainder of the year. The reopening of

the Hong Kong border and the continued recovery in our Southeast Asian markets has driven

positive trading performance in the first quarter, although there remains some way to go before

the business will see the level of overall profitability achieved in 2019. Global economic

headwinds remain and, while inflationary pressures are easing, consumer confidence is

uncertain and will have a bearing on both the speed and degree to which behaviours return to

pre-pandemic levels. Recognising the sustained shift to online digital convenience, the Group

will continue its investment in digital platforms in order to compete. The Group’s business

transformation has delivered strong underlying improvements and a solid foundation for the

business and we remain focussed on its continued execution to deliver sustainable growth for

our shareholders; a stronger business for our customers; and a supportive organisation for our

team members.


DFI Retail Group is a leading pan-Asian retailer. The Group, together with its associates and

joint ventures, operates around 10,600 outlets – including supermarkets, hypermarkets,

convenience stores, health and beauty stores, home furnishings stores and restaurants –

employing some 216,000 people, and had total sales in 2022 exceeding US$27 billion. The

Group’s parent company, DFI Retail Group Holdings Limited, is incorporated in Bermuda and

has a primary listing in the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange, with secondary

listings in Bermuda and Singapore. DFI Retail Group is a member of the Jardine Matheson



For further information, please contact:


DFI Retail Group Management Services Limited

Christine Chung                                                             (852) 2299 1056


Brunswick Group Limited

William Brocklehurst                                                      (852) 5685 9881


This and other Group announcements can be accessed through the Internet at



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