Once-popular karaoke brand Arirang shut down

By Minh Son   July 14, 2019 | 11:12 pm PT
Once-popular karaoke brand Arirang shut down
An Arirang shop assistant is advising a customer at an electronics exhibition. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Electronics and food retailer Phu Nhuan Service JSC (Maseco) is closing its once-popular karaoke and electronics brand Arirang.

The decision to close was taken after four years of declining profits, and the first loss in the segment last year. At Maseco’s annual general meeting of last week, the company’s management board announced it will shut down its entire electronics business, branded Arirang, and liquidate all inventory.

Last year, Arirang recorded VND173.5 billion ($7.49 million) in revenue and a VND50.5 billion ($2.18 million) net loss. The company held inventories worth VND175 billion ($7.55 million), more than the value of electronic goods it has sold this year.

The company will also divest from a number of distributing outlets in the north and central regions, and expects to lose another VND50 billion ($2.16 million) before the business can be closed completely.

Arirang had originally been a profitable business, having generated VND682 billion ($29.43 million) in revenue and VND218 billion ($9.4 million) in after-tax profits in 2014. However, revenue and profits fell steadily over the next four years as demand for its products began to decline.

Although Arirang electronics is no longer considered popular in Vietnam, its speakers and karaoke systems dominated most of the country’s karaoke bars in big cities about a decade ago, and generated millions of dollars in profits for Maseco each year.

"For over 20 years in the domestic market, Maseco has always been known as a leading manufacturer of karaoke machines," the company's 2016 prospectus said. However, the words "difficulties" and "declining" began to appear in Arirang’s business reports after 2017.

Failure to keep up with software and modern karaoke programs, as well as increasing competition from both domestic and foreign hardware manufacturers were reasons cited by Maseco for Arirang’s declining performance.

Maseco, formerly a state-owned enterprise, was equitized in 2001 and listed on the stock market in early 2017 (stock code: MSC). Its main activities include production, wholesale and retail of electronic components and equipment (mainly Arirang karaoke equipment), trading and exporting of agricultural products, and real estate.

According to Maseco’s consolidated business results for 2018, the company achieved revenue of VND928 billion ($40.1 million), down 11 percent from last year, and a net loss of VND164 billion ($7.08 million). Maseco said it will restructure itself to focus on real estate and automobile trading, and expects to become profitable again in 2020.

go to top