ON THE back of a strong performance from its current network of stores, Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) posted a 9.5 percent increase in retail sales for the first half of 2018.
Highlighted by a 171 basis point improvement in margins, MRSGI also reported a P344-million profit for the first semester despite the fire that damaged a department store and supermarket in Ayala Center Cebu earlier in the year.
The second quarter net earnings rose to P254 million, as same store sales growth reached the highest in nine quarters at 4.6 percent. Moreover, the company continued to record cost efficiencies.
“The year may have started on a challenging note, but our retail sales performance remains strong and this has allowed us to move forward with greater stability and confidence,” said MRSGI Chairman and CEO Frank S. Gaisano.
“We started the re-building of our flagship store in Cebu, and we thank our loyal customers for their overwhelming patronage of our pop-up stores in the same mall. Rest assured that we are doing our best to accelerate the first phase of the store’s re-launch within the year,” he said.
“We are committed more than ever to achieving a stronger brand presence for Metro with our continued investments in the provinces and other strategic growth areas,” he added. “More consumers will benefit from Metro as we cement our position as one of the leading and preferred retailers in the country.”
The company continues to invest in nationwide expansion in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in Eastern and Western Visayas, as evidenced by the recent opening of the Metro Store at Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City; the recent groundbreaking of Metro Hypermarket in Baybay, Leyte; and the opening of Metro Department Store and Supermarket in Bacolod within the year.
To provide greater benefits to the communities that it touches, MRSGI likewise expands the scope of its corporate social responsibility initiatives. The company has complemented the educational assistance program of Vicsal Foundation in Cebu by partnering with Caritas Manila and supporting additional scholars under the Caritas Youth Servant Leadership Education Program (YSLEP).
MRSGI has also partnered with GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, a non-government organization that promotes sound and sustainable agricultural practices. Metro Supermarkets feature the foundation’s flagship products, Moringa Tea and Moringa Powder, and give back part of the proceeds to GreenEarth’s indigent farming community.
Now on its 36th year of operations, MRSGI continues to nurture the goal of doubling its 2015 gross floor area by 2020, with plans of beefing up its network of stores in the Visayas and in Luzon. It remains the largest retailer in the fast-growing Visayas region.
MRSGI now operates in 51 stores in Central, Western and Eastern Visayas, as well as in Central Luzon, Metro Manila and South Luzon, with three store formats comprising a department store, a supermarket and a hypermarket. (PR)