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Metro eyes higher earnings, more stores in 2019

Metro Ayala building was gutted by fire on January 5, 2018. (Ventures Cebu Photo)

After a challenging year marked by a fire that gutted the Metro Ayala, Gaisano-led Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) hopes to boost earnings in 2019.

MRSGI president and chief operating officer Manuel C. Alberto said the opening of more stores is a “top priority” this year.

He noted that despite the challenges in 2018, the company was able to strengthen its presence in emerging business hubs with the groundbreaking of Super Metro Hypermarket in Leyte and the opening of Metro Department Store and Supermarket in Ayala Feliz, Pasig and in Ayala Capitol, Bacolod.

MRSGI targets to finish the reconstruction of its gutted building at the Ayala Center Cebu in the second half of 2019.

The company is also spearheading the construction of a mixed use development in Catbalogan City, capital and commercial hub of Samar province.

“The company’s strength is rooted in our enduring drive to make our customers happy and yield returns for our shareholders. This is also what empowers us through trying times,” Alberto said.

“We recognize the role of our strategic alliances in expanding our store network. As we set our sights on higher goals, we forge ahead with the theme we have set forth for 2019 – growth through operational excellence and quality customer service. We are fully committed to deliver our value proposition,” Alberto added.

MRSGI chairman and CEO Frank S. Gaisano reported during the company’s annual stockholders meeting held on May 3, 2019 that total sales dipped 5.6% to P33.05 billion in 2018 because of the January 5, 2018 fire.

Net income likewise dipped to P965.4 million, about P11 million or 1.2% less than the P976.96 million recorded in 2017.

Related Story: Gaisano firm reports only slight decline in profit despite fire

Gaisano said the company’s financial health, however, remained upbeat on the back of steady same-store growth at 5.1 percent and gross profit margins increasing 200 basis points over the last two years.

He attributed the company’s positive performance to its “agile business strategies and improvements in inventory and margin productivity, price competitiveness and merchandise assortment.”

“We are in an auspicious position to boost our earnings this year as we continue to seize opportunities given the vibrance of the country’s retail sector and overall economic strength, as well as robust domestic demand,” he said.

MRSGI currently operates 13 department stores, 28 supermarkets and 13 hypermarkets. (Ventures Cebu)

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