President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), the nation’s largest convenience store chain, on Thursday reported that sales last month rose 3.1 percent year-on-year to NT$18.27 billion (US$565.5 million) on the back of rising same-store sales.
The company said in an e-mailed statement that contribution from its non-core investments — such as drugstore chain Cosmed (康是美), online bookstore Books.com (博客來) and overseas units including Philippine 7-Eleven and Shanghai 7-Eleven — also helped boost sales last month.
Last month’s sales figure — although lower than May’s NT$18.52 billion — was the highest for the month in President Chain’s history, company data showed.
The company said that its growth momentum would continue this month through various marketing activities for ice products, cold noodles and fresh-brewed coffee.
In addition, the company said it plans to launch new products and pre-order services to meet rising demand amid several summer festivals.
President Chain operated 5,053 stores in Taiwan as of May 31, compared with 5,028 at the end of last year.
Market watchers have forecast the store number would reach up to 5,060 before the end of this year and 5,070 next year.
President Chain also counts on other non-core investments — including coffee chain President Starbucks Coffee Corp (統一星巴克) and home-delivery service provider President Transnet Corp (統一速達) — to improve its sales performance amid slowing consumption in Taiwan.
In the second quarter, the company saw revenue rise 5.25 percent year-on-year and 5.53 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$54.23 billion, company data showed.
Daiwa-Cathay Capital Markets Co analyst Christine Wang (王琦清) said in a note to clients that President Chain’s revenue this quarter might grow 3 percent annually, citing a steady contribution from sales of fresh-food products.
In addition, the company’s expansion abroad might also help increase its total revenue for the whole year, Wang said.
Driven by new stores and expanding services in the Philippines, “we still expect earnings contributions from Shanghai Starbucks and Philippine 7-Eleven to grow by more than 20 percent year-on-year,” Wang said in the note.
In the first half of the year, accumulated revenue was NT$105.75 billion, up 6.13 percent from the same period last year, President Chain said.
President Chain chairman Alex Lo (羅智先) said at a shareholders’ meeting on June 22 that as domestic demand is still suffering amid a sluggish economy and with increased uncertainty in the global economy, the second half might be harsh for the retailer.
“We see the downward trend [of the economy] and what we can do is to be more creative to stimulate consumption,” Lo said.
Retailers are closer to consumers than other companies and sometimes the statistics of the industry can reveal meaningful economic signs, even faster than information provided by the government, he said.
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