WILCON Depot, Inc. on Thursday said its first-quarter net income grew by 84% to P604.41 million from P276 million a year ago after sales bumped up by 19.4%.

“We’re happy with our first-quarter results and that we were able to achieve this despite the challenges brought about by the recent spike in COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases and the reimposition of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces,” Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, president and chief executive officer at Wilcon, said in a statement posted on the exchange.

The listed home and construction supply retailer said all of its branches remained open even as Metro Manila was put under strict lockdown, but had shorter operating hours due to the imposed curfew hours.

Topline sales rose to P6.68 billion from P5.59 billion, with comparable sales improving by eight percent on the back of sales in Luzon stores.

Wilcon said shops in depot format contributed 97.2% to the total net sales. Depot format stores generated P6.49 billion in the first quarter.

Its Home Essentials segment accounted for 2.1% or P140 million of Wilcon’s total sales. Meanwhile, the Project segment made up for the 0.7% balance, contributing P48 million.

Gross profit grew 28.1% to P2.42 billion from P1.89 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

Operating expenses totaled P1.56 billion, an 8.3% increase from P1.43 billion as the company carried on with its expansion plans.

Wilcon said most of its P595-million capital expenditure for the quarter was spent in putting up new stores and warehouses. It is eyeing to open seven more stores in addition to the two launched in January.

“We now have 65 stores, fulfilling our IPO commitment ahead of schedule. Moving forward, we have placed adequate flexibility in our expansion plans, should market conditions warrant a shift — either it be a pause or an acceleration,” Ms. Belo-Cincochan said.

Year on year, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) improved by 75.6% to P1.03 billion from P587 million.

On Thursday, Wilcon shares at the local bourse went down by 0.34% or six centavos to close at P17.50 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte