Seaoil earmarks P1.1B for expansion in ’13

400 retail outlets by the end of the year

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Seaoil Philippines, an independent fuel retailer, is spending another P1.1 billion this year to further expand its retail network. The goal is to reach a total count of 400 stations by the end of 2013.

The capital spending program for this year is about the same as last year’s, which was also focused on increasing the number of retail stations, said Seaoil president and chief executive officer Glenn Yu.

Yu told reporters that the funding for the P1.1-billion capital expenditure program for 2013 was raised last year, adding that Seaoil’s cash flow also remained strong.

“Last year, we were able to raise P1.5 billion with DBP (Development Bank of the Philippines). That forms part of the funding for our capex,” Yu said.

The company, however, is not closing its doors to the possibility of tapping the capital market to raise funds in case it decides to accelerate its expansion plans, he added.

Seaoil has to date 340 retail stations across the country, including those that are about to open and those that are currently being constructed. Its strong network had helped the independent oil player to register about 20 to 25 percent growth in revenue to P16 billion last year, Yu said.

“We continue to see strong revenue growth. For this year, we remain bullish as our track record [shows] that we’ve been growing between 20 and 25 percent over the last several years. For this year, we expect the investments we have made in 2012 to start bearing fruit,” Yu said.

Although enjoying a steady revenue growth, Seaoil has no immediate plan to go public.

“We continue to watch market growth… For us, our main considerations are the market’s direction and the strength of our balance sheet. We continue to look at maintaining a strong balance sheet and if we believe that there is a need to tap the equity market to continue strengthening our balance sheet, then we will do that,” Yu said, referring to the possible offering of shares to the public.

Under the Oil Deregulation Law, only oil companies that are also engaged in the refinery business are mandated to offer to the public through the stock market at least 10 percent of their shares.

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