September 18, 2019 / 10:06 AM / 4 months ago

Hong Kong cosmetics chain Sa Sa's August sales hit by protests

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based skin care and cosmetics chain operator Sa Sa International Holdings Ltd (0178.HK) said on Wednesday its sales in Hong Kong and Macau dropped 32% in August from the same month last year, amid a wave of protests in the financial hub.

A decline in visitors from mainland China, weaker consumer sentiment, an ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war and the depreciation of China’s yuan currency also dampened sales, the company said.

“The sales performance remained very weak in September,” chairman Simon Kwok said in the statement, adding sales from Sept. 1 to 15 fell 14% on a monthly basis, and 29% year-on-year.

The chain operator said it would seek to reduce rents, staff and administration costs, and close low-efficiency stores in an effort to deal with the challenges.

Last week, Hong Kong’s finance minister said visitor numbers plunged nearly 40% in August from a year earlier, deepening from July’s 5% fall as sometimes violent anti-government protests take a rising toll on the city’s tourism, retail and hotel businesses.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Mark Potter

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