Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 12 News List

PCSC plans promotions to fend off competition

By Kwan Shin-han  /  Staff reporter

A store clerk at a news conference in Taipei on Monday presents high-grade coffee that will soon be available in more of Uni-President Group’s 7-Eleven convenience stores.

Photo: Yang Ya-min, Taipei Times

President Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商) plans to boost sales by offering summer promotions on snacks and beverages in the face of a slowing economy and rising competition.

The nation’s largest convenience store operator also plans to expand its freshly brewed coffee business by increasing the number of stores at which it sells its premium products from 400 to 1,000 later this year, as well as introducing estate-grown coffee beans from Brazil, the company said on Monday.

The company expects to have sold 330 million cups of coffee by the end of this year, up 3.13 percent from last year’s 320 million, it said.

Expanding the number of stores and increasing single-store sales are still the company’s goals for its domestic and foreign markets this year, it added.

The company was operating 5,443 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan as of March and 2,631 in the Philippines as of this month.

While the retail business has been stable so far this year, the company expects more challenges as competition becomes fiercer, PCSC chairman Alex Lo (羅智先) told shareholders at a meeting in Tainan.

“The global economy has been unstable this year, which reflects on foreign exchange, interest rates, capital markets, and imports and exports, eventually affecting the depth of everybody’s pockets,” a PCSC public relations (PR) official quoted Lo as saying.

The presidential election in January next year has had a limited effect on the company’s sales, Lo said, adding that the US-China trade dispute and Brexit have complicated the outlook for this year.

Cumulative revenue in the first five months rose 3.76 percent to NT$103.46 billion (US$3.29 billion), compared with NT$99.71 billion a year earlier, company data showed.

The company attributed the increase to higher sales of snacks, coffee products, daily necessities and noodle products jointly developed with a Japanese firm.

First-quarter net income climbed 14.59 percent year-on-year to NT$2.91 billion, with earnings per share (EPS) of NT$2.8. Gross margin was flat at NT$34.39, company data showed.

Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$8.8, suggesting a payout ratio 89.61 percent based on last year’s EPS of NT$9.82.

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