Lucio Co firms ride out inflation with chocolates, pizza and liquor
Business tycoon Lucio Co’s retail and liquor businesses weathered mounting cost challenges in the January to September period as profits rose following moves to reopen the economy.
Co’s supermarket group Puregold Price Club Inc. grew net income by 13 percent to P6.5 billion at end-September on increased store traffic.
The Keepers Holdings Inc., the largest imported liquor distributor in the Philippines, also saw profit growth surge nearly 50 percent to P1.6 billion during the same period on higher sales across all categories.
Co continued to expand his retail empire, opening 15 new Puregold stores during the nine-month period to end with 513 outlets nationwide. These were 443 Puregold stores, 22 S&R membership shopping warehouses and 48 S&R New York Style restaurants.
The store openings pushed up net sales by 11 percent to P1.6 billion, the supermarket operator said.
“As mobility and confidence grew in the face of headwinds caused by inflation and commodity supply pressures, total traffic to all stores increased by 12 percent versus the same period last year,” Puregold said in a statement.
Removing the impact of new stores, Puregold outlets grew by 2.4 percent while S&R Warehouse clubs grew by 9.5 percent.
Thus, gross profit during the period rose 11.5 percent to P24 billion while operating expenses increased by 7.9 percent to P15.9 billion.
The Keepers’ liquor segments also benefited from the resurgence in spending after pandemic restrictions were eased early this year.
Total sales during the nine-month period jumped 34.9 percent to P8.95 billion due to a 26-percent increase in volume to 3.3 million cases.
“This was driven principally by the continued robust performance of Alfonso, the leading imported brandy in the market, which has already surpassed its prepandemic levels,” The Keepers said.
The Keepers also distributes Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal, Glenfiddich, Suntory, Jinro, Jose Cuervo, Jim Beam, Penfolds and Red Bull.
—Miguel R. Camus INQ
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