Metro Retail revenue drops to P50 million in the first quarter

METRO Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) said Monday it earned P50.3 million in the first quarter, down 16 percent from P60 million a year earlier, due to lower contributions from its general merchandise business.

Net sales, however, were 4.8 percent higher at P8.7 billion, the highest from January to March since its listing in 2015.

Food retail is said to have grown 7.9 percent on robust sales of basic groceries, while the general merchandise category fell 2.9 percent due to lower discretionary spending amid inflationary pressures.

The decline in general merchandise sales resulted in a blended gross margin of 20.8 percent, compared to 21.9 percent last year.

Cost of sales increased 6.5 percent from P6.5 million to P6.9 billion, commensurate with higher sales during the period.

The Gaisano-led supermarket operator managed to contain the increase in its operating expenses, which rose only 2.1 percent from P1.75 billion to P1.78 billion.

“While the company continued to implement cost-cutting and savings measures, there were significant increases in rental and personnel costs,” the company said in a statement.

At the company’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this month, MRSGI president and COO Manuel Alberto said they are “ready for growth this year with cautious optimism.”

“Our strategic plans focus on calibrated expansion, improving our online presence and continuing to modernize our stores,” he added.

The company recently launched a Metro Value Mart in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, along with five supermarkets in strategic areas in Cebu and Leyte, to expand its presence in the Visayas region.

MRSGI’s share price on Monday remained unchanged at P1.30 apiece.