SPECIALTY store retailer SSI Group Inc. reported net income of P267 million in the first quarter, an increase of 22 percent from a year ago, driven by an aggressive store expansion program, strong luxury brands and improved operating margins.
In a statement, the company said revenues in the first three months rose 19 percent from a year earlier to P4 billion while operating income jumped 28 percent to P514 million on “sustained gross profit margins and a slower rate of increase for key operating expense items such as rental and personnel expenses.”
As of end-March, SSI Group said it had 746 specialty stores with a total retail footprint of 137,746 square meters (sqm), a 27-percent increase from the same period last year. In the first quarter alone, the company opened 23 new stores covering 4,106 sqms of additional retail space.
The company also ended the quarter with 112 brands in its portfolio. In the three-month period, SSI Group added seven new brands, namely the bridge brand Max & Co; accessories brands Charming Charlie and Radley; as well as footwear brands Amazonas, Jelly Bunny, Kurt Geiger and Lipault.
Convenience store unit FamilyMart reported having 100 outlets as of end-March. SSI Group is planning to close the year with up to 160 FamilyMart outlets nationwide, both company-owned and franchised stores.
SSI Group is aiming to become the second biggest convenience store player in the Philippines by ousting the Ministop brand from its number two rank, behind top player 7-Eleven of Philippine Seven Corp.
SSI Group has a two-year expansion plan that involves the addition of 21,000 sqms of retail space resulting in 130 new stores this year, as well as another 16,000 sqms of commercial retail area next year.
Established in 1987, SSI first operated the Rustan’s Group’s specialty retail brands.
Its retail portfolio includes Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo and Marks and Spencer as well as Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Kenneth Cole, Burberry and Banana Republic, among others.
It later expanded into the convenience and department stores landscape through joint ventures with Ayala Land Inc. and Japan’s FamilyMart Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corp. to bring in the FamilyMart and Wellworth chains into the country.