Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) reported a 2.4 percent improvement in attributable net income attributable to P945 million for the first quarter of 2021.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said this is due to the company’s efforts to minimize the impact of the pandemic through the implementation of austerity measures and front margin improvement initiatives. 

Consolidated net sales declined 11.1 percent to P35.6 billion for the period of January to March 2021 from the P40.06 billion registered in the same quarter last year.

Same store sales growth (SSSG) was down to 16.1 percent, with the supermarket and drugstore segments coming off from high bases induced by panic buying for essential goods such as food and medicines in the same period last year.

SSSG of these essential formats was at record high at 42.1 percent and 34.7 percent, respectively, for March 2020.

Sales performance of discretionary formats in the first quarter of 2021 was also weighed down by three months of varying levels of lockdowns versus only 15 days of lockdowns in 2020. 

RRHI said it reduced operating expenses by 6.8 percent year-on-year. Resulting operating income was 30.5 percent lower at P1.2 billion while EBITDA dropped 15.1 percent to P2.8 billion.

Rose Pharmacy, which was acquired in October 2020, contributed to the operating income in the first quarter of 2021, faster than targeted, arising from the synergies with Southstar Drug. 

Total e-commerce sales grew significantly by 7 times from the first quarter of 2020, with the most significant growth seen in GoRobinsons, the company’s own e-commerce website.

GoRobinsons currently houses Robinsons Supermarket, The Marketplace, Shopwise, Handyman, True Value, Toys ‘R’ Us, and No Brand, with other banners scheduled for onboarding within the year.

Drugstore and appliances segments also have their own e-commerce websites.

“We remain agile as we accelerate the growth of our e-commerce programs while ensuring that necessary cost controls are in place. We are rising to the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” said RRHI President and CEO Robina Gokongwei-Pe. She added that, “Amid the present volatility of the business environment, we are strengthening our strategies to constantly adapt to our customers’ needs and create shared value for our stakeholders.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (