New stores lift Metro Retail Q1 bottom line

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Metro Retail Stores Group

METRO RETAIL Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) grew its net income by 65% in the first quarter, after it resumed operations of its Cebu-based store and opened additional stores.

The listed company said in a disclosure Tuesday it recorded P148.8 million in net profit for the January to March period, from P90.2 million in 2018.

Net sales rose 11% to P7.728 billion, which it said is largely because of the opening of three new stores in late 2018 and the reopening of Metro Supermarket Ayala Center Cebu, which was ravaged by fire January last year. MRSGI has 54 stores throughout the country.

“After a particularly challenging 2018, we are highly motivated to accelerate our growth momentum this year. We are aggressively rolling out our expansion plans and fortifying our key operational processes to sustain and boost our profitability throughout the year,” MRSGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Gaisano was quoted in a statement as saying.

The company is currently implementing a “margin enhancement plan,” which it said helped in improving its bottom line. Part of this plan is negotiating with suppliers, improving share to business of outright sales and rationalizing sales to resellers.

Moving forward, MRSGI said it is hopeful to see a continuous rise in sales as the market improves and the overall economy continues to grow. The slowing inflation and growing consumer spending are also factors that are seen to boost the company’s prospects.

“We are seeing favorable conditions that will bring about vast opportunities for our business. But fundamentally, our foothold is grounded on our reliability as provider of our customers’ day-to-day essentials,” Mr. Gaisano said.

MRSGI President Manuel Luis C. Alberto had earlier said the company wants to open more Metro stores and finish the redevelopment of its existing stores in Ayala Center, Cebu by the second half of the year.

“The company’s strength is rooted in our enduring drive to make our customers happy and yield returns for our shareholders… We recognize the role of our strategic alliances in expanding our store network,” he was quoted as saying in a statement last week. — Denise A. Valdez