METRO Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI), the dominant retailer in the Visayas, saw net income grow 4 percent in 2016 as brisk sales in the fourth quarter offset weaker earnings in the first nine months.
MRSGI reported a net income of P789 million last year compared to P758 million in 2015.
In a statement on Thursday, the company said its fourth-quarter net income jumped by 24.3 percent, offsetting the 20-percent earnings decline recorded in the first three quarters due to the cost of opening new stores.
The company opened four stores in 2016, bringing its total store count to 50 by the end of last year from 46 at end-2015.
Net sales for 2016 rose by 6.5 percent from the previous year to P34.4 billion, while fourth-quarter sales advanced by 7.4 percent to P10.67 billion.
Other than the store expansion, the company also ramped up its supply chain and logistics modernization program last year. It inaugurated a warehouse facility in Cebu and added new delivery trucks with real-time tracking devices to improve the delivery and efficiency of its supply chain.
“We are very pleased to have closed 2016 with a strong fourth-quarter performance. These positive results show that our investments and operational improvements are and will continue paying off, allowing us to better serve our ever-expanding market,” MRSGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano said.
Under its five-year plan to 2020, the company aims to increase its store count to more than 100 by 2020 from 46 as of end-2015. It is allocating P10 billion to P15 billion for this expansion plan, translating to a capital expenditure of from P2 billion to P3 billion for five to 10 store openings annually.
The Cebu-based firm said it plans to sustain the growth trajectory this year to improve sales and store-by-store profitability. Its 50-store network to date comprises 25 supermarkets, 13 hypermarkets and 12 department stores.
MRSGI is a subsidiary of Vicsal Group which includes Wealth Bank, which is jointly owned by Woori Bank, Korea’s second largest bank; Taft Properties; and HT Land, a joint venture between Taft and Hong Kong Land.