Fruitas income up 20% in 2019 on store expansion

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Fruitas Holdings, Inc. saw its reported income rose by 20% in 2019 on the back of revenue growth from added stores.

In a stock exchange disclosure Friday, the food and beverage kiosk operator said its income grew to P121 million last year over P100 million in 2018.

Excluding some public offering expenses, its core net income went up 34% to P125 million, compared with P94 million in the preceding year.

“We are pleased with our 2019 results, with sales and net income increasing above 20%. Our acquisitions and investments in store network development contributed positively,” Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester C. Yu said.

A “strong” same-store sales growth and an expanded store network of 1,068 by end-2019 from 930 in 2018 boosted the listed food retailer’s total revenue last year by 23% to P1.95 billion over P1.58 billion in the previous year.

Negril Trading, which Fruitas acquired in 2015 and owns the food brands De Original Jamaican Pattie and Sabroso Lechon, posted revenue growth of 43% to P423 million despite being impacted by the swine flu crisis that hit some parts of the country in the latter half of 2019.

Further, the contribution to net sales of the company’s Visayas and Mindanao businesses increased by 39%.

“We look forward to regaining momentum in increasing our sales and profits as effects from the imposed quarantine due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic subside,” Mr. Yu said.

The food operator is taking several initiatives to keep its business afloat during the pandemic crisis with setting aside P270 million for capital expenditure this year.

It is focused on investing in delivery, opening new multi-product stores in communities, as well as continuing network expansion through strategic development, partnerships, and “disciplined” acquisitions.

On Friday, shares in Fruitas soared by 3.7% to close at P1.40 each. — Adam J. Ang