PHILIPPINE Seven Corp., which operates 7-11 convenience stores in the country, said it will spend between P3.5 billion and P4 billion in capital expenditures this year to expand its network to reach close to 3,800.
Lawrence M. de Leon, Philippine Seven head of finance, said the capex would mainly be used to expand its store network by an additional 400 branches.
De Leon said so far they have opened 150 stores, mostly outside Metro Manila. Philippine Seven closed 2022 with 3,393 stores.
The company is also working to have half of its store network franchised.
Philippine Seven CEO Jose Victor P. Paterno said business had been resilient amid the recent challenging years with the company already back to its pre-pandemic figures during the first three months of the year.
“But so far based on our latest filing, which is the first quarter of this year, sales remain to be resilient when it comes to average sales per store per day. And as our CEO pointed out, so profitability for the first three months of 2023 already exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic level,” de Leon said. Paterno said the company expects 2023 to be another record year with the current year being an inflection point for the company as it reaps the benefit of investments done over the years, even during the pandemic period.
“First quarter is a record first quarter. And we believe 2023 will be a very much record year,” he said.
In particular, Paterno said the company had been integrating artificial intelligence in its process since 2018.
“We find ourselves in a situation where geographic shifts in demand have fortuitously opened up opportunities to expand in areas beyond the current reach of competition. Our market development plan will be implemented as we recognize the growing customer preference towards innovation, proximity, and convenience,” Paterno said.
At the current store count, about 52 percent are corporate-owned, while 48 percent are franchise-operated. Total new stores opened for the year 2022 reached 353 against 33 closures. This was higher compared to the 164 new stores opened and 69 closures in 2021.
“The company was able to refresh the convenience store concept post-pandemic, while remaining true to the time-tested goodwill attached to the 7-Eleven brand. This allowed Philippine Seven to move one step closer in fulfilling its mission of making daily lives easier by providing modern convenience,” Philippine Seven chairman independent director Jose T. Pardo.
For its ATM, the company as of end of 2022 has a total of 2,322 ATMs activated in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon including 148 ATMs in Cebu and 82 ATMs in Davao. This translates to a 68-percent coverage and is expected to expand further as ATMs will be deployed in the underserved segment of the market.
Shares of Philippine Seven was last traded at P88 apiece.