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Metro Ayala Cebu to reopen by mid-2019

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PHILSTAR/ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

METRO RETAIL Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) targets to complete the first phase of the rebuilding and recovery program of Metro Ayala Cebu by the middle of 2019, after the mall caught fire in January last year.

“We are well on our way to restoring the Metro Supermarket and Metro Department store in Ayala Center Cebu…We expect that the first phase of the redevelopment to be fully operational by mid this year as we continue to build a much better and more vibrant store for our patrons,” MRSGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano said in a statement.

The listed firm’s Metro Ayala Cebu store was razed by fire that lasted two days in January 2018.

MRSGI then opened a temporary supermarket covering 900 square meters in Ayala Center Cebu three months after the incident.

Aside from rebuilding its Metro Ayala Cebu store, MRSGI is also pushing through with its expansion in Visayas and Luzon. The company opened Metro Department Stores and Supermarket at Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City and Bacolod last year. It also broke ground for Super Metro Hypermarket Baybay in Leyte.

MRSGI earlier said it looks to double its 2015 gross floor area to 800,000 square meters, with an investment of P10 billion over the five-year period through 2020.

The company currently operates 53 stores across Central, Western, and Eastern Visayas. It also has a presence in Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and South Luzon through three formats, namely department store, supermarket, and hypermarket.

MRSGI has recently named Manuel Luis C. Alberto as its new president and chief operating officer, following the retirement of Arthur Emmanuel.

The company’s net income went down by 17% to P454.93 million in the first nine months of 2018, after gross revenues also dipped seven percent to P22.97 billion.

Shares in MRSGI firmed up 1.86% or five centavos to close at P2.74 apiece on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia