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CEBU DAILY NEWS

Metro Retail on track to grow portfolio by 2020 

Cebu based Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) is on track to meeting its target of doubling its gross floor area by 2020 on the back of achieving solid bottom line figures in the first nine months this year. In a recent press statement, the publicly listed firm said it registered a net profit of P550 million as of September 2017, up by 100 percent from figures in the same period in 2016. "We are encouraged by our overall results. This shows the effectiveness of our business strategy which continues to improve our profitability," MRSGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Gaisano said. The company booked P24.4 billion in sales during the first nine months of the year, up by 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. Gaisano also attributed their increasing gross margins to merchandising improvements as well as investments in operational efficiencies. MRSGI closed 2016 with an additional four stores totaling 37,000 square meters in gross floor area (GFA), bringing the chain to 50 stores with a total of 440,000­sqm. GFA. The homegrown company opened its 51st store in Canduman, Mandaue City, last April. In earlier reports, Gaisano was quoted as saying that retail remains to be one of the most vibrant industries in the local business METRO I 24 O Metro... from p.22 scene. He said that they have been able to deftly leverage on opportunities which helped them become one of the leading names in the Philippine retail industry. MRSGI now operates 52 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, supermarket and a hypermarket. The company began construction of seven new stores in the second quarter of 2017 in line with its goal to double its 2015 GFA by 2020. The group made its debut on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in November 2015. Since opening its first department store and supermarket in downtown Cebu City 35 years ago, the group has grown into a company of over 9,000 employees with 52 stores serving the needs of over 250,000 shoppers every day. According to a World Bank report released mid­2017, strong consumer demand and economic expansion should further drive the growth of the Philippine retail sector, accompanied by increased bank lending and subdued inflation. The World Bank said robust remittances, credit growth and low inflation were supporting private consumption. Furthermore, it said that combined with expansionist monetary and investment policies, this would reinforce consumer confidence and underpin the 6.9­percent gross domestic product growth this year./REPORTER VICTOR ANTHONY V. SUVA


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