Cebu-based Metro Retail Stores Group, Inc. (MRSGI) suffered a net loss of P126.47 million in the first quarter of 2021 from the P7.98 million profit earned in the same period last year.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said lowered customer traffic due to quarantine protocols and continued customer prioritization of purchases to essential goods heavily impacted its performance.
While the first quarter retail season is typically lean following peak consumer spending in December, the net loss was primarily attributed to the 18.9 percent contraction in revenue to P6.95 billion against the P8.57 billion registered in the comparable period last year, which was minimally affected by the pandemic.
MRSGI’s total food retail business declined by 14.7 percent, while general merchandise business decreased by 30.2 percent year-on-year. Blended same store sales dipped by 21.4 percent over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, operating expenses fell by 19.1 percent to P1.48 billion from its year-ago level of P1.83 billion brought about by the increased efficiency and continuous cost reduction and saving measures implemented by the Company.
MRSGI said its thrust to expand its store network into underserved communities plays a pivotal role in its strategy.
After capping 2020 with 56 stores, MRSGI has since opened three more stores in the provinces of Cebu and Leyte, it likewise fully re-opened its flagship Metro Ayala Center Cebu – Department Store; bringing its current store network to 60 stores.
Moreover, the Company is set to open another store located in Bacolod in June 2021.
MRSGI said it will also pursue a multi-pronged growth plan that aims to further grow its business through the expansion of its e-commerce program, structure MRSGI as an agile organization, and develop new channels, among others.
“Along with the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic are opportunities for growth that we intend to tap. With the right strategy, people and partnerships, we are focusing on long-term sustainable recovery and growth,” said MRSGI President Manuel Alberto.