The country’s largest conglomerate, SM Investments Corp., reported a 16 percent year-on-year decline in first quarter net profit to P9 billion as the lockdown of Luzon and other key regions gnawed on core banking, property and retailing businesses.
Consolidated revenues of the Sy family-led conglomerate, however, rose by 2.9 percent to P111.2 billion in the first three months as grocery operations remained operational during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Metro Manila starting mid-March.
Retail operations under SM Retail Inc., the only core business that is not separately listed on the stock exchange, saw a 56 percent decline in net profit to P1.2 billion. Total revenues from this high-volume but low-margin business grew by 3 percent year-on-year to P81 billion, led by the food and grocery businesses under SM Markets, WalterMart and Alfamart.
The specialty retail stores, which are part of the non-food retail business, generated P16.5 billion in first quarter revenues, lower by 16 percent year-on-year.
“The ECQ and broader pandemic started to weigh on our performance during the first quarter. Our strong balance sheet, capabilities and partnerships provide us with the flexibility to anticipate and adapt to changes in customer needs and behaviors. We are actively enhancing digital and delivery services across all our core businesses, while also working to support and protect our employees, customers, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and business partners,” SM president Frederic DyBuncio said in a press statement on Thursday.
Banks contributed 46 percent of SMIC’s net income, while property and retail added 44 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
As the coronavirus crisis erupted, SMIC said it had implemented sanitation protocols in all of its essential businesses. It also supported the medical equipment and supplies needs of hospitals nationwide and worked with the government and other partners to provide much needed quarantine and testing facilities.
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