ROBINSONS RETAIL Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) posted lower earnings in the third quarter despite a 24.2% growth in its net sales during the period.

In a statement yesterday, the Gokongwei-led retailer said its attributable net income fell 9% to P1.1 billion during the three-month period, failing to hold the increase in its net sales which stood at P38.95 billion.

In the nine months to September, the company’s attributable net income ended at P2.88 billion, slumping 25% from a year ago. This was amid a 26.5% improvement in net sales during the period to P116.16 billion.

The growth in net sales in the nine months was linked to the company’s 3.2% same-store sales growth (SSSG) — which falls within its SSSG target of 2-4% this year. SSSG is the company’s measure of its sales increase from existing stores.

The company’s SSSG from drugstores was at 10.7%, from supermarkets at 3.6%, from convenience stores at 2.7%, from do-it-yourself stores at 2.6% and from specialty stores at 1.3%.

However, RRHI noted last year’s SSSG was higher at 6.4%. Last year also saw the positive effects of higher consumer spending from the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. Another factor that increased last year’s profits were the higher bulk sales because of Typhoon Ompong.

But other factors that pulled up RRHI’s revenues this year were sales from its new stores and the consolidation of Rustan Supercenters, Inc. to the company.

RRHI bought Rustan in November 2018, making its supermarket segment account for 55% of its business now from 47% before the acquisition.

RRHI ended the first three quarters with 1,918 stores in its portfolio, excluding franchised stores of The Generics Pharmacy. Of this, 258 are supermarkets, 50 are department stores, 215 are do-it-yourself stores, 509 are convenience stores, 517 are drugstores and 369 are specialty stores.

It spent P2.2 billion in capital expenditures in the period from its P3.5-5 billion budget this year.

Shares in RRHI went down 40 centavos or 0.53% to close at P75.70 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez