Monday, 18 May 2009

Philippine Operator of 7-Eleven chain reports 160% profit surge

K.J.R. Liu

LISTED CONVENIENCE store operator Philippine Seven Corp. more than doubled its profits last quarter on the back of better sales from newly opened 24-hour outlets.

The operator of the 7-Eleven chain of stores said net income grew by 160% to P13 million or P0.05 per share, up from P0.02 in the same period last year.

Revenues climbed to P1.47 billion from January to March compared with P1.35 billion in sales posted in the first quarter of 2008.

Philippine Seven said this was due to the "continuous expansion of its store network."

System-wide sales, or overall retail sales to customers of company and franchised stores, reached P1.63 billion last quarter, compared with P1.45 billion in the first quarter of 2008, Philippine Seven President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Victor P. Paterno told the stock exchange.

Mr. Paterno said his company plans to optimize earnings of its convenience stores by improving the variety of merchandise and ensuring the availability of stocks.

As of March, the company had 371 7-Eleven outlets, a 17% hike compared to the previous year’s level. Mr. Paterno said new stores helped increase the company’s profitability last quarter amid the global economic slowdown.

"Despite the growing competition in the convenience store business, Philippine Seven maintains its leadership in the industry [by] operating the largest convenience store network in the country," Mr. Paterno said.

Mr. Paterno’s group acquired from 7-Eleven, Inc. of Dallas, Texas the license to operate 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines in 1982.

Philippine Seven has allotted P240 million for store expansion this year. The company plans to close the year with 450 7-Eleven outlets in Luzon, and is considering opening branches in Visayas and Mindanao next year to further expand its foothold in the industry.

Shares of the company remained at P2 apiece on Friday.

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