Metro Retail expects another banner year


(Source: Business World | 16 March 2016)

Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) expects another record year for the Visayan retail giant after earnings grew by a fifth on the back of its store expansion.

The Gaisano-Led multi-format retailer told the stock exchange yesterday the company saw an annual 20.6% growth in bottom line to P758.6 million last year. Net sales climbed 13.9% year-on-year to P32.3 billion, with same-store sales growth at 8.8%.

The 33-year-old company ended 2015 with 46 stores nationwide composed of 24 supermarkets, 12 hypermarkets and 10 department stores with a gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 400,000 square meters (sqm.).

The previous year was a banner year for MRSGI, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano said.

“I believe that 2016 will be another record year for MRSGI, being well on track with our store expansion and logistics efficiency initiatives to support our goal of doubling our footprint in the next five years,” Mr. Gaisano was quoted in the statement attached to the disclosure as saying.

The five-year plan translates to the opening of additional 50 to 70 stores, MRSGI Vice-President for Business Development Joseph Conrad M. Balatbat said in November.

MRSGI raised nearly P4 billion from an initial public offering (IPO) in November to beef up its war chest for expansion in the highly competitive retail industry. Two-thirds of the proceeds will be use to roll out new stores and acquire existing operators.

The retailer will sustain its program of expanding its product offering and investing in its people.

“These strategic initiatives will enable MRSGI not only to achieve our financial goals, accelerate growth and increase operational efficiency, but more importantly elevate the quality of service we provide to our loyal customers,” Mr. Gaisano said.

Earlier this month, MRSGI acquired the Wellworth department store assets of the joint venture of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and SSI Group, Inc. The stores, located at Fairview Terraces Mall and UP Town Center, have a combined gross floor area of approximately 25,000 sqm. The deal brings MSRGI’s department store network to 12.

Shares in MRSGI rose over 3% to close at P3.98 apiece on Wednesday.

— Krista A. M. Montealegre


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