Lucio Co’s Cosco posts 13% increase in profits

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COSCO Capital, Inc. posted a 13% increase in its attributable net income in 2018 driven by higher revenues across its businesses.

In a regulatory filing, tycoon Lucio L. Co’s holding company said its attributable net income reached P5.55 billion for the full-year 2018, higher than the P4.92 billion it saw in the year prior.

Consolidated revenues grew 15.5% to P168.39 billion from P145.75 billion in 2017, on the back of growth from its businesses which include grocery retail, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), real estate, and liquor and wine distribution.

Cosco said it saw sustained organic growth from its grocery retail segment which includes Puregold Price Club and S&R Membership Shopping Club. The segment generated P140.92 billion in revenues, up 13.2% year on year, “brought about by its continued aggressive stores expansion program and management’s combined efforts to boost revenues.”

The grocery retail segment’s consolidated net income likewise rose 12% to P6.52 billion, which includes a one-time gain of around P363 million realized from the sale of its shares in the Philippine operator of Lawson convenience stores.

In 2018, 30 new Puregold stores, 2 new S&R Warehouse Clubs and 7 new S&R quick-service restaurants opened.

Cosco’s liquor distribution business grew 31% to P8.7 billion, driven by a 32% increase in volume of cases sold. Net income from the unit, which distributes Alfonso Light Brandy and Alfonso Brandy, rose 17.5% to P738.64 million.

The real estate segment generated P2.43 billion in revenues last year, up 11%, as it added more leasable spaces with its four new malls and saw higher income from its oil storage tanks business operating in Subic Bay Freeport. Net profit went up 10% to P1.07 billion.

Meanwhile, Office Warehouse, Inc. reported a 14% increase in sales to P2.09 billion, as it opened new stores and embarked on an aggressive sales and marketing campaign. Its net income rose 11% to P65.53 million.

Liquigaz Philippines Corp. posted a 30% rise in revenues amounting to P17 billion, pushing net profit 33% higher at P626.23 million.

In October 2018, Cosco disclosed its decision to sell its entire stake in Liquigaz to Fernwood Holdings, saying this will allow the firm to maximize shareholders’ value and achieve financial flexibility moving forward. — D.A.Valdez