• Puregold buys NE supermart chain

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    The Cosco Group, led by businessman Lucio Co, said it has bought the nine-supermarket chain and five commercial lots of NE Inc., a property company based in Nueva Ecija.

    The nine supermarkets will be folded into Puregold Price Club Inc. and the five commercial lots for Cosco Capital Inc.

    In separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange Cosco reported buying five commercial lots d in Zulueta St., Cabanatuan City; San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; San Juan Accfa, Cabanatuan City; Baler, Aurora and Santiago City, Isabela to increase its rental selling space.

    The nine new supermarkets are in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, San Jose Nueva Ecija, Baliwag, Bulacan, Baler, Aurora and Santiago, and Isabela.

    “The additional stores will also make Puregold the dominant retail player in the province of Nueva Ecija,” Puregold said.

    Puregold has set aside P18.5 billion for the next five years to increase by 50 percent its store network. Cosco meanwhile is budgeting P2.4 billion to build six community malls d in the next three years.

    The group plans to set up 500 Lawson convenience store in the next five years, with 50 stores targeted by yearend. The first 200 Lawson stores will be company-owned, before it sells the franchise.

    Puregold saw a increase in its January to September 2014 net income by 13.8 percent to P3.007 billion from the P2.64 billion same period last year, while Cosco booked P4.32 billion net income in the first nine months of the year which is 16 percent higher than 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 is the holding firm of business magnate Lucio Co which 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.

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