Central Retail hits record-high performance
Central Retail hits record-high performance in Q4, turning 2021 into a profitable year and yielding THB 0.30 in dividends. Chief Executive Officer of Central Retail Corporation PCL (CRC) Mr. Yol Phokasub announced “Central Retail has achieved success hitting record-high in Q4/2021 performance, with revenue of THB 58,765 million +15%. EBITDA THB 8,031 million +42% and a net profit of THB 2,464 million +124%. We ended 2021 on a high note with a profit of THB 277 million. EBITDA THB 20,059 million and total revenue of THB 195,654 million. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19 for extended periods across Thailand, Vietnam, and Italy, Central Retail achieved profitability and generated positive returns to shareholders, with dividend payment of THB 0.30 per share.”
Central Retail’s 2021 achievements
Sales in 2021 were greater than pre-pandemic levels, excluding tourist spending. Central Retail’s Multi-Category Platform, which provides portfolio flexibility and adaptation to changing client demands, is responsible for this success. In 2021, the hardline category was the emphasis, as it aligned with consumer tastes during the pandemic, allowing the segment to rapidly increase and boost sales to levels that were 26% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Five new Thai Watsadu locations have opened, as well as new store formats. WOW banner of 15 branches in three months in 2021, all of which were well greeted by clients, highlighting the company’s leadership position in the Omnichannel Home Improvement Platform. In addition, Central Retail has completed the acquisition of COL, which includes OfficeMate and B2S, and is planning to list MEB, the market leader in the e-book sector and a novel website for Thais, on the Thai stock exchange in 2022. Central Retail retains its #1 status as Thailand’s Best Food Destination and plans to expand its company by establishing 46 new locations in 2021 to further solidify its leading position in the category. Influential Brand Singapore and Neo Target, a pioneer in corporate reputation consultancy in Thailand, also gave Tops Supermarket the Top Influential Brands award. From the end of last year to the first quarter of this year, the corporation established fixed prices for consumer items to relieve consumers’ financial difficulties amid difficult times. When compared to prior quarters in the last two years, the company’s fashion section had the highest levels of growth in the fourth quarter, and the category is currently growing well.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, Central Retail continued to invest in renovations and company expansion to maintain its position as a leader in the hypermarket and lifestyle mall industry in both urban and rural locations. The firm also entered the food industry by creating the small go! store concept, which is aimed at mass customers, as well as Tops Market, which caters to all client segments in Vietnam. Despite the fact that Vietnam had a challenging scenario during the pandemic, which led stores to close in the second and third quarters, our sales increased by 8% in 2019, and our EBITDA increased by 9%.
Rinascente’s three flagship stores in Milan, Florence, and Rome were renovated by Central Retail. The modifications took place during the Italian shutdown and were finished in time for the reopening of the border in mid-2021, which drew an increasing number of consumers and resulted in great company development. Domestic consumers’ buying power, along with the return of European visitors, bolstered sales growth in the fourth quarter, matching 99 percent of pre-pandemic levels. In Italy, the company’s yearly revenues increased by 30% year over year, while EBITDA increased fourfold.
Renovated and opened new branches in Thailand and Vietnam, including GO! lifestyle mall in Vietnam and Robinson Lifestyle in Thailand, for a total of six locations. The occupancy rate at Robinson Lifestyle was above 90%, and the number of consumers has been steadily growing. By the end of 2021, Central Retail will have 69 locations throughout Robinson Lifestyle, Tops Plaza, and GO! lifestyle malls, totaling approximately 650,000 square meters of net leasable space, up 10% from the previous year.
Technology and Digital Transformation
By implementing a digital-first mindset and developing on the most complete omnichannel platforms, Central Retail improved technological integration across the organization and its employees, safeguarding Central Retail’s distinctive leadership in omnichannel retailing. As a consequence of these efforts, omnichannel sales now account for 20% of overall revenues, representing a 109 percent increase. To enable rapid growth and consolidate its position as the retailer of the future, the firm expanded on the CRC Data Ecosystem and established new technology platforms for every business category.
“2021 was the year that put Central Retail through rigorous-resilience tests. With antifragility in the DNA, we were able to thrive amid the widespread uncertainty to emerge first and stronger. Through this, we have proven that the ability of the organization and our people to adapt and move quickly is key in overcoming obstacles. I would like to express my gratitude to our customers, partners, and our employees who joined forces in driving leaping growth for the company. We are ready to charge ahead with the CRC Retailligence strategy in full force by harnessing the power of digital technologies to enhance our omnichannel platforms, and accelerating business growth in Thailand and internationally. We also aim to move ahead in unity with world-class partners to seize new business opportunities and tap into changing consumer needs and global trends. And in everything we do, we stand by the commitment to inclusive growth, driving collective and sustainable success with all our partners,” concluded Mr. Yol.