Renaissance says 2013 earnings will be ‘disappointing’, closes four of nine retail stores

– Renaissance Corp, the retailer of Apple products and operator of a design school, said annual earnings will be another disappointing result due to its ailing retail unit, and it’s shutting four of nine stores in a bid to restore profitability.

The Christchurch-based company today closed Apple reseller stores in Albany, Britomart, Sylvia Parka and Dunedin as part of a plan to get its retail unit back in shape. The remaining stores in Newmarket, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch will offer full service functions in an effort to differentiate them from competitors,” Renaissance said.

“In the first instance we have to get retail back to break-even,” the company said. “We do not underestimate the difficulty of that task, but management has a plan and part of that plan was implemented with the closure of four stores.”

The company posted a first-half loss of $3.1 million on sales of $24.7 million, and took a $2.99 million impairment to write off goodwill on its retail division.

Renaissance has been in a protracted due diligence process with a party interested in the education unit, formerly known as Natcoll Design Technology, and received a proposal on July 12 which the board is still working through.

The education unit has been performing well, but may fall slightly short of its forecast earnings before interest and tax of $2.4 million, the company said.

Shares in Renaissance were unchanged at 11 cents, having plunged 45 percent this year. That values the company at about $4.8 million.

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