22 May 2013

Renaissance chalks up more big losses

7:26 am on 22 May 2013

The company that used to be the public face of the consumer electronics company Apple in New Zealand has made further heavy losses.

Renaissance Corporation lost $3.1 million in the six months to March compared with a $1.8 million profit in the same six months a year earlier.

In the three years ended September 2011, Renaissance chalked up $6.3 million of losses.

Chairman Colin Giffney says the latest loss is bitterly disappointing after everything the company has already been through.

Renaissance's recent woes began in early 2008, when it lost the right exclusive distribution of Apple products, and Apple started allowing larger retailers to purchase directly from the company.

Now, although Renaissance is selling more and more Apple products - for example, the number of iPads it sold rose 27% in the last six months - the per-unit prices have dropped significantly.

Per-unit iPad prices fell 28% in the latest six months.

Renaissance's average gross profit margin has dropped from 11% of the sale price in the 2012 half-year to just 8% now.

The company has been desperately cutting costs to try to keep its retail operation afloat but, as Mr Giffney says, the cost-cutting never seems to be enough to keep up with falling sales.