Cosco Q1 profit hits P8.53B thanks to sale of Liquigaz

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COSCO Capital, Inc. reported its net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company surged by 605% to P8.53 billion in the first quarter, thanks to the gain from the sale of Liquigaz Philippines Corp.

In a statement issued Friday, the retail holding firm of tycoon Lucio L. Co said core net income attributable to the parent increased by 9% to P1.32 billion, riding on the back of the country’s economic growth and higher consumer spending.

Cosco completed its divestment from Liquigaz last January, selling its entire stake in the liquefied petroleum gas firm to Fernwood Holdings, Inc. The company did not disclose the value of the transaction, but noted that it is less than 12% of total assets as of December 2017 or P111.61 billion.

The listed firm’s grocery retailing business through Puregold Price Club, Inc. and S&R Membership Shopping Club, delivered consolidated revenues of P34.8 billion, 12.8% higher year on year. Consolidated net income accordingly grew 11.9% to P1.5 billion.

Same-store sales growth stood at 6.9% for Puregold stores, while S&R’s ended at 9.4%.

“Our SSSG in the first quarter of 2019 is driven by higher consumer spending fueled both by minimum wage inflation in 2018 and easing inflation in 2019,” Puregold said in a separate statement.

The company opened a total of eight new Puregold stores and one S&R Warehouse Club during the period, bringing its total store count to 417 by end-March. Its total net selling area is now at about 550,000 square meters.

Cosco’s liquor distribution business recorded a 28.3% increase in net income to P230 million, after consolidated revenues climbed 24% to P2.1 billion. The company benefited from higher sales of Alfonso Light Brandy and Alfonso Brandy.

Office Warehouse, Inc., the company’s specialty retailing business segment, posted a 212% profit jump to P29 million. Revenues likewise grew 24.5% to P621 million. Same-store-sales growth was healthy at 18% from across 88 operating stores.

Meanwhile, the commercial real estate segment posted a net income of P313 million, 10.5% higher year on year, following a 5.4% uptick in total revenues to P641 million. — Arra B. Francia