Freeman Cebu Business

Metro Retail income up 24% to P262 million in first-half

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu-based Metro Retail Stores Group saw its net income up by 24 percent in the first half of 2016 to P262 million from P211 million in the same period in 2015.

“Despite challenging conditions, we are encouraged by our bottom line and same store sales growth led by our hypermarket format. This was achieved by our familiarity with the Visayas region and the markets that we serve," Chairman and CEO Frank Gaisano was quoted as saying in a company disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday.

Visayas' largest retailer posted a 10 percent all-stores growth for the first half of the year.

This was attributed to the 14.7 percent growth of its hypermarket segment during the period. It also registered a 5 percent same stores sales growth during the period.

“The continued development and growth in the country this year as well as the resilient OFW remittances and BPO industry are fueling domestic consumption. Aligned with this development, we are ahead of schedule in doubling our footprint by 2020, with more than 40 percent of this target already currently secured," the CEO said.

The Gaisano-led retailer is investing more than P10 billion for its five-year plan to double the size of its network of stores to 800,000 square meters in terms of gross floor area.

The secured 40 percent of the target is expected to open in the next two years.

Gaisano said the company continues to strengthen its position in Visayas by capitalizing on its existing locations and adding new stores in key areas.

The retail giant recently inaugurated its Cebu distribution facility to ramp up its supply chain and logistics.

The firm's store network currently stood at 49, including supermarkets, hypermarkets and department stores.

It also entered into a partnership with Ayala Land for the establishment of its stores in four new Ayala commercial developments in Negros Occidental, Iloilo City, Cebu City and Pasig City.

The listed retailer also entered into a lease agreement with the local government unit of Bais City in Negros Oriental to build its first store in the province.

Shares of Metro Retail were trading at P5.49 apiece at noon yesterday.

Retail sector

The retail industry continues to enjoy steady growth amid the strong purchasing power of consumers.

The National Economic and Development Authority in Central Visayas had said many local retailers expanded their investments in the region by opening up new branches in Cebu and surrounding areas to take advantage of the upbeat business climate.

The retail trade industry is also expected to benefit from increased household spending and strong remittance inflows from Filipino workers abroad. (FREEMAN)

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