(UPDATED) Gaisano-led retailer Metro Retail Stores Group, Incorporated (MRSGI) has reopened the Metro Supermarket at the basement of its fire-hit building in Ayala Center Cebu.
The fire, which erupted on the night of January 5, 2018, destroyed the upper levels and caused "serious damage" to both the department store and supermarket.
The company received insurance payouts of nearly P400 million for the fire damage, a report to the Philippine Stock Exchange showed.
MRSGI said it claimed P319.72 million for the value of the damaged merchandise inventories and P49.18 million for the value of the damaged property and equipment.
Metro Supermarket, which had been operating from a smaller space inside the mall, reopened at its original location in Ayala Center Cebu on December 30, 2018.
The fire had affected MRSGI earnings, with the company reporting to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) a 17.3% year-on-year decrease in net income to P454.934 million in the first nine months of 2018 from P550.07 million in the same period in 2017.
“Nine-month earnings dipped by 17.3% percent versus prior year mainly due to the fire that damaged a department store and supermarket in Ayala Center Cebu earlier this year nonetheless, the rest of the stores remain positive and have exceeded the prior year’s performance on the back of strong same-store sales growth and margins enhancement,” the company said in a disclosure on November 9, 2018.
The company reported same-store sales growth of 3.8 percent from January to September 2018 and 123 basis points improvement in margins versus prior year.
In the third quarter alone, the company posted P110.5 million in profit and same stores sales growth of 9.3 percent, “the highest in the past 10 quarters.”
“Our positive performance in the first nine months and for the third quarter highlights the efficacy of our business strategies that is defined by inventory and margin productivity, price competitiveness and merchandise assortment,” said MRSGI Chairman and CEO Frank S. Gaisano.
MRSGI operates 51 stores — in department store, supermarket and hypermarket formats - in key areas. Prior to reopening Metro Supermarket at Ayala Cebu, MRSGI opened Metro Department Store and Supermarket in Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
It also opened a department store and supermarket at Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City in Metro Manila and has started construction of a Supermarket Hypermarket Baybay in Leyte.
The target is to double its 2015 gross floor area by 2020. (Ventures Cebu)