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Fruitas incurs P27-million loss after ‘unprecedented’ sales fall

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FRUITAS HOLDINGS, Inc.’s bottom line turned to a loss of P27.44 million in the second quarter as it saw an “unprecedented” sales decline during the period, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

The listed food kiosk operator came from an attributable net income of P41.66 million in the same three months last year.

“The sales decline for the second quarter of 2020 was unprecedented as we had to suspend (the) operation of almost all of our stores because of the quarantine. It also coincided with the summer months, when our beverage sales peak,” Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester C. Yu was quoted as saying in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday.

In the first semester, Fruitas’ losses reached P12.35 million, reversing the P51.97-million net income a year ago. Revenues during the six-month period fell by more than half to P462.05 million from P941.19 million previously.

To manage the loss, it cut operating expenses by 40% to P249 million in the period. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) stood at P42 million, lower compared with P141 million previously.

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As the government-imposed lockdowns eased in June, the company reopened stores “more cautiously.”

“For June, our sales were already back to 33% of last year, despite Fruitas only operating an average of about 45% of our store network throughout the month,” Mr. Yu noted.

“We will be a more profitable and productive company as the economy slowly reopens while realizing that a return to pre-pandemic levels will take time. We also continue to pivot our business model to derive more contribution from delivery and community stores,” he added.

The owner of Buko Juice, Jamaican Pattie, and Soy & Bean has firmed up the production capabilities of these best-selling brands for both open outlet and delivery platform, believing demand for them will expand soon as the country recovers from the pandemic.

“Better sales mix coming from products with lower direct costs allowed the company to improve gross profit margin for the first half of 2020 to 60%, compared to 58% during the same period last year,” it said.

Fruitas’ shares were unchanged at P1.18 each on Monday. — Adam J. Ang

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