SSI Group Inc. (PSE: SSI), the country’s largest specialty store retailer, posted sales of PhP4.9 billion, during the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 7.2% as against the same period last year. The increase in sales was driven by healthy consumer demand and solid same store sales growth of 8.6%, and was achieved despite a 5% decline in the group’s total floor area, as the group focused store openings on developed brands in developed locations.
SSI Group also saw an increase in first quarter gross profit margin to 42.4%, a 231 basis points increase as compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, and higher than the gross profit margin of 42.1% posted during the first quarter of 2018.
The group also generated operating income of PhP286.4 million during the first quarter, with operating margin increasing by 90 basis points to 5.8%, as compared to the same period last year.
Healthy top line growth combined with improving gross profit and operating margins drove over-all results for the period, with core recurring income, or income excluding one-time write offs related to store rationalizations, increasing by 36% y-o-y to PhP184.1 million and net income increasing by 28% y-o-y to PhP170.6 million.
“The group’s first quarter results reflect healthy same store sales growth and the increased flexibility afforded by our lower operating expense base and inventory levels. Our lower opex base and inventory levels allow us to be more responsive to macroeconomic change, to shifts in consumer behavior and to opportunities to acquire exciting new brands,” said Anthony T. Huang, SSI Group President.
The SSI Group maintains a portfolio of 90 brands, which includes many of the world’s most recognizable brands, and a store network that is located in prime retail locations nationwide. Through its unique brand portfolio and strategic store network the group is able to cater to its customers’ passions for well-curated lifestyles and to support the group’s mission to enhance the lifestyles of Filipino consumers.
The group’s store network also includes e-commerce properties lacoste.com.ph, gap.com.ph, payless.ph, beautybar.com.ph, 158db.com.ph, superga.ph, bananarepublic.com.ph and dunelondon.ph.
Apart from its extensive portfolio of fashion and personal care brands, the SSI Group also operates TWG Tea and SaladStop!, and on May 10, 2019, opened the first Shake Shack restaurant in the Philippines at Central Square in Bonifacio Global City.