President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), which operates 7-Eleven, the nation’s largest convenience store chain, has budgeted lower capital expenditure this year than last year, as the company aims to maintain steady expansion and a balanced development.
The company yesterday set its capital expenditure for this year at between NT$2.5 billion (US$81.65 million) and NT$3 billion, down from the level of between NT$4 billion and NT$4.2 billion last year.
“The investments this year will mainly focus on upgrading stores and purchasing equipment,” PCSC president Ray Chen (陳瑞堂) told a media briefing.
Chen said PCSC’s plan to develop more large-format stores in Taiwan, the first of which was launched about five years ago, is still in progress, with the company generally upgrading 500 outlets a year.
The company — which has 4,951 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan — may need four more years to invest in and upgrade all of its stores into large-format stores, Chen said.
However, finishing the construction of its fresh-food plants, logistics warehouses and a new point of sale (POS) system last year has helped PCSC to save some investment costs this year.
PCSC’s net income last year hit a record-high level of NT$8.04 billion, or NT$7.73 per share, up from NT$5.92 billion, or NT$5.69 per share, recorded in 2012, the company said in a statement.
Net profits in the fourth quarter of last year stood at NT$1.47 billion, or NT$1.42 per share, nearly tripling from the NT$481 million, or NT$0.47 per share, recorded in the same period in 2012.
The strong profitability led the company’s board of directors to propose a NT$6 cash dividend per share, compared with a cash dividend of NT$4.85 per share last year, the statement added.
Seeking growth in consolidated sales and earnings in the future, PCSC plans to expand its number of 7-Eleven stores to 5,000 by the end of this year and to launch more large-format stores, Chen said.
PCSC may further strengthen development of its reinvestments in the retail sector, such as President Starbucks Coffee Corp (統一星巴克) and drugstore chain Cosmed (康是美), and expects to boost the number of all the group’s retail stores to 8,000 by the end of this year, Chen added.
In addition, the company aims to expand in the Chinese and Philippine markets.
After closing some loss-making stores in China in the past two years, PCSC has seen sales at its 75 7-Eleven outlets in Shanghai last year rise more than 10 percent over sales in 2012.
Chen said the company may further increase its number of 7-Eleven outlets in China to 100 by the end of this year, with the focus on expansion in suburban regions and residential areas.
Meanwhile, PCSC is set to increase its number of 7-Eleven stores in the Philippines to 1,200 by the end of this year, from the current level of 1,009, Chen added.