Robinsons Retail income declines in January-September

Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) on Thursday said its income in January to September fell 19 percent to P2.59 billion from last year’s P3.23 billion as some of its non-essential stores continued to record lower sales despite the lifting of lockdown.

Sales fell 5 percent to P109.57 billion from last year’s P116.15 billion. The company said the temporary reversion to the much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces from August 4 to 18 also affected its discretionary formats and limited transportation and consumer mobility.

For the third quarter alone, Robinsons Retail income was down 31 percent to P836 million from last year’s P1.21 billion. Sales, meanwhile, fell 11 percent to P34.61 billion from last year’s P38.94 billion.

“Although they remain cautious, customers and businesses are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ with safety measures implemented in stores. At same time, consumers are also exploring alternative channels to purchase goods from virtual platforms, such as Viber communities and social-media marketplaces, which are now collectively referred to as social commerce,” the company said.

Blended same store sales growth (SSSG) in January to September was at -6.4 percent and -11.7 percent in the third quarter alone. Supermarket SSSG was 11.5 percent for the three quarters and 2.1 percent in the third quarter, which was partly attributed to weaker consumer spending given the overall decline in disposable income.

Drugstores, an essential format, registered a positive SSSG of 3.5 percent in January to September. However, it was at -3 percent in the third quarter coming from a high base last year, due to a drop in sales of prescription flu and anti-bacterial medicines.

“Our third quarter 2020 financials give us some optimism that the worst may have passed for RRHI and the retail sector. Compared to second quarter, we saw significant improvements in our results across the majority of our formats. We are hopeful that the uplift continues for the rest of the year,” Robina Gokongwei Pe, the company’s president and CEO said.

“Covid-19’s impact on people, businesses, and the overall economy is still very much felt and apparent, and our year-on-year numbers remain down. Yet we are seeing signs of recovery amidst an age of social distancing and safety precautions, and all of us are adapting to this new dynamic in retail. Through any disruption, we are committed to bringing the best products and services that we can to our customers.”

The balance sheet of Robinsons Retail was still at a net cash position of over P26.4 billion as of end-September. The company also spent a total of P1.3 billion in capital expenditures during the period.

Excluding the franchised stores of The Generics Pharmacy, Robinsons Retail ended September with a total of 1,853 stores comprising of 263 supermarkets, 49 department stores, 223 do-it-yourself stores, 481 convenience stores, 521 drugstores and 316 specialty stores.


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