COSCO Capital Inc., the holding firm of business magnate Lucio Co, said its board has approved a P1-billion share buyback program to boost share value.
Cosco and Puregold Price Club Inc., Lucio Co’s retail chain, also announced they will issue cash dividends worth a combined P1.42 billion.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Cosco said its board has “authorized the Chairman and President to execute the buy-back in behalf of the Company.” Cosco is chaired by Co while Leonardo Dayao is the president.
Cosco also said its board has approved the payment of a cash dividend of 8 centavos per share, consisting of 6 centavos per share regular dividend and 2 centavos per share special dividend, amounting to a total of P592 million. The record date is January 12, 2015 and the payment date is on February 5, 2015
Separately, Puregold said in its disclosure to the exchange that its board of directors has approved the issuance of 30 centavos per share cash dividend, broken down into 20 centavos per share regular dividend and 10 centavos per share special dividend, amounting to P830 million. The record and payment dates are also on January 12 and February 5, 2015, respectively.
The two companies’ expansion programs include Puregold’s plan to spend P18.5 billion between 2015 and 2019 to increase its store network by 50 percent, while Cosco targets to build six community malls in the next three years at a cost of P2.4 billion.
Puregold is also set to roll out 500 Lawson convenience stores over the next five years, with its first store opening set in February next year. It plans to close 2015 with 50 stores.
The first 200 Lawson stores will be company-owned while the rest will adopt the franchising method.
Puregold’s net income from January to September grew 13.8 percent to P3 billion from P2.64 billion in the same period last year, while Cosco booked P4.32 billion in net income in the first nine months, up 16 percent from a year ago.
Incorporated in 1998, Puregold primarily operates hypermarkets and retail stores. Its portfolio includes hypermarket format Puregold Price Club, supermarket Puregold Junior, discounters format Puregold Extra, and high-end membership shopping S&R.
Also incorporated in 1988, Cosco has interests in retail (Puregold Price Club Inc.), real estate (Ellimac Prime Holdings Inc. etc), liquor distribution (Premier Wine and Spirits Inc.), liquefied petroleum gas and mining.