By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
PUREGOLD Price Club, Inc. will continue the expansion of its supermarket business in 2018 as it plans to open 25 new stores.
“We plan to roll out 25 new Puregold stores in 2018,” Puregold Vice-President for Investor Relations John Marson T. Hao said in an e-mail.
This will be the same number of stores Puregold has targeted to open last year. By the end of September 2017, the company had a total of 352 stores nationwide — comprised of 291 Puregold stores, 13 S&R membership shopping warehouses, 31 S&R New York Style quick service restaurants, nine NE Bodega Supermarkets, and eight Budgetlane Supermarkets.
Aside from expanding the Puregold brand, tycoon Lucio L. Co’s company will also be opening two more S&R warehouses in 2018.
Mr. Hao, however, declined to disclose the locations of the new stores. Last year, Puregold focused on expanding its footprint outside Luzon, as it tried to accelerate growth by entering new geographic areas.
Asked if the company would consider more acquisitions, the Puregold executive said they remain open should opportunities arise.
“We are always on the look out for possible M&A (mergers and acquisitions) of other supermarket chains,” Mr. Hao said.
The listed grocery operator has also given a positive outlook for 2018 given the implementation of the tax reform program.
“2018 will be exciting due to the tax reform by the government,” Mr. Hao said.
The first package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion program took effect on Jan. 1. The Department of Finance said the new law will allow employees to pocket higher take home pay, starting with those earning lower than P250,000 annually who will now be exempted from personal taxes.
Analysts said consumer stocks are to directly benefit from the tax reform program as Filipinos have more money to spend.
“Consumer-related sector is almost a given the increased disposable income of the Filipinos,” PCCI Securities Brokers Corp. Research Head Joseph James F. Lago said in a separate e-mail.
Incorporated in 1998, Puregold’s core business is in the trading of goods, particularly consumer products such as canned goods, housewares, toiletries, dry goods, food products, pharmaceutical and medical goods on a wholesale and retail basis.
The company’s stores operate in various formats, namely Puregold Price Club that caters to both retail customers and resellers; Puregold Junior, its neighborhood store format, and Puregold Extra, which are smaller stores that offer a more limited choice of goods.
Puregold realized a 6% increase in net income attributable to the parent in the first nine months of 2017 to P3.9 billion, following an 11% uptick in revenues to P90 billion during the same period.