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Wilcon expects muted growth this year — CEO

LISTED home improvement and construction supply retailer Wilcon Depot, Inc. expects muted growth this year due to its high base in 2022 and a shift in consumer priorities, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) said on Monday.

“Because we do have a high base [from the prior year]… and discretionary spending by consumers are more towards [revenge travel], [this] would have an impact on the growth that we are looking at for 2023,” said Wilcon Depot President and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan during a media briefing.

She added that the company will continue to focus on expanding its store network and enhancing its product offerings, as well as adapting its store formats to different markets.

According to the company, it plans to allocate around P3 billion on new stores, warehouses, and renovations.

It had earmarked about P3.95 billion in capital spending the previous year, higher than this year’s P3.8 billion.

The company also expects to exceed its store expansion goal this year, opening 12 to 14 additional stores.

“We continue building more stores, and we might end up with about 93 stores by the end of the year,” said Wilcon Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Rosemarie B. Ong.

Wilcon hopes to open 100 stores by the end of 2025, with the company now operating 85 outlets across the country.

“There are still a lot of untapped areas,” Ms. Ong said.

Last year, the company reported a net income of P3.85 billion, up 50.2% from P2.56 billion in 2021. Its top line likewise rose by 22.2% to P33.97 billion from the P27.81 billion recorded the prior year.

For the first quarter of 2023, the company reported a 13.1% jump in net income to P962 million from the P850.67 million the prior year, driven by higher revenues.

Its top line during the three-month period went up by 12.9% to P8.74 billion from P7.74 million in the same period last year. Its expenses rose by 12.8% to P7.32 billion from P6.49 billion the prior year.

Wilcon shares closed 0.82% higher at P24.60 apiece on Monday. — Adrian H. Halili

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