TSE Sui Luen Jewellery (International) chalked up sales growth of more than 30 per cent in December despite the slump in purchasing sentiment. Chief executive Elliott Yuen Wai-kuen said: 'We did worry about jewellery sales at Christmas when the general purchasing sentiment did not show signs of improvement.' Mr Yuen said the company had made a concerted effort to launch new products and promotion. 'The growth is encouraging, compared with last December,' Mr Yuen said. However, sluggish purchasing sentiment has eroded the jeweller's confidence in gold sales for the coming Lunar New Year. 'If customer appetite for gold does not shrink, hopefully we can maintain last year's sales levels, ' Mr Yuen said. He said customers were mainly tourists or Hong Kong residents buying gold as souvenirs for their mainland relatives. Company chairman Tse Sui-luen is eyeing the thriving Asian region, planning to set up two to three new stores in Malaysia next year. In September, it invested about $15 million to establish the company's first wholly-owned store in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Yuen said the store, aimed at tourists, distributed high-end jewellery. 'The shop's performance so far is pretty good,' Mr Yuen said. He said the company was cautious about expanding its presence in Singapore, its third largest market. This was despite a 22.2 per cent turnover growth to the end of February this year, amounting to $74 million. 'The retailing sector in Singapore is performing worse than the territory's,' Mr Yuen said. The company is planning to expand its manufacturing facilities in Thailand, aiming for a three-fold increase in monthly production volume to 15,000 jewellery items.