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(LEAD) Lotte Shopping swings to black in Q3 amid pandemic

Industry 16:38 November 06, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info throughout)

SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Shopping Co. said Friday it swung to a net profit in the third quarter on robust performance in its non-department store business amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

Net income reached 3 billion won (US$2.7 million) in the July-September period, a turnaround from a net loss of 23.3 billion won a year earlier, the key unit of retail giant Lotte Group said in a regulatory filing.

From three months earlier, it swung to the black from a net loss of 199 billion won.

Operating profit rose 26.8 percent on-year to 111 billion won, while sales fell 6.8 percent to 4.1 trillion won.

The outcome of operating profit was 24.2 percent higher than the average estimate, according to a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data arm of Yonhap News Agency. The estimate of net profit was not available.

"Sales at discount store channels increased as demand for foodstuff by stay-at-home customers rose. The company's electronic goods outlets and home shopping business also posted brisk performance," Lotte Shopping said in a statement.

The corporate logo of Lotte Shopping Co. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Lotte Shopping, the operator of South Korea's biggest department store, suffered from an industry-wide slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as people refrained from visiting offline stores due to the risk of virus infection.

Despite its improved bottom line, Lotte Shopping's department store and multiplex chain business still suffered sluggish sales, affected by the country's tougher social distancing measures over a flare-up in COVID-19 cases.

In late August, the country applied the Level 2 virus curbs across the nation in its three-tier scheme for about two months to stem the fast spread of the virus.

Lotte Department Store's revenue declined 15.5 percent on-year to 619 billion won, and its operating profit fell 25.2 percent to 78 billion won.

But the company's discount store segment reported a 160.5 percent jump in operating profit to 32 billion won. Sales inched down 4.4 percent to 1.59 trillion won.

Operating profit generated from Lotte Shopping's electronic goods stores jumped 67.3 percent on-year to 56 billion won, as online classes and remote working boosted demand for electronic products.

Its home shopping business reported an 18.7 percent on-year gain in operating profit to 30 billion won.

In April, Lotte Shopping launched an ambitious online shopping website, Lotte On, which integrates the websites of Lotte's eight affiliates, in a bid to better compete with major e-commerce operators.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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