(Source: BusinessWorld | 13 May 2016)
Lucio L. Co-owned Puregold Price Club, Inc. and Gaisano-led Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. rode strong consumer demand to higher earnings in the three months ending March, according to separate disclosures to the stock exchange on Friday.
Puregold, the country’s second largest grocery operator, increased its net profit by nearly a tenth to P1.15 billion in the first quarter from the P1.05 billion registered a year ago.
Consolidated net sales went up 19.7% year-on-year to P24.76 million in the January-March period due to robust consumer spending in its existing Puregold, S&R Membership Shopping, and S&R New York Style Pizza stores, as well as newly opened stores.
“Our first quarter same-store sales growth of 7.3% for Puregold stores and 4.8% for S&R stores were driven by strong consumer demand,” Puregold President Ferdinand Vincent P. Co was quoted in the statement as saying.
At end-2015, the Puregold group was operating 298 stores nationwide: 255 Puregold stores, 10 S&R stores, 16 S&R New York Style Pizza stores, and 17 stores under the NE Bodega and Budgetlane Supermarket brands.
Meanwhile, Visayan retail giant Metro Retail pocketed P52.8 million in the first three months of 2016, up 69.2% from P31.2 million in the same period in 2015.
Stripping off interest income from both periods, net income growth slowed to 8.3 % during the period.
Metro Retail generated a 9.7% increase in all-store sales, anchored on the 7.4% expansion in same-store sales.
Metro Retail recently opened a hypermarket in Calbayog City in Eastern Visayas, as well as two department stores in UP Town Center and Fairview Terraces in Quezon City, bringing its store network to 49: 24 supermarkets, 13 hypermarkets, and 12 department stores.
Shares in Puregold were unchanged at P42.10 apiece, while shares in Metro Retail added six centavos or 1.5% each on Friday.
— By Krista Angela M. Montealegre