Thailand’s biggest retailer has released quarterly results that show it is on track to recover from the pandemic.
Central Retail said its revenue hit 58.8 billion baht ($1.8 billion) in the fourth quarter of last year, a 15% jump from the same period in 2020. And that strong performance brought the company’s total revenue for the year to 195.6 billion baht ($6). billion), against a turnover of 194.3 billion baht in 2020.
After posting losses for two consecutive quarters, Central Retail posted a profit of 2.46 billion baht in the fourth quarter, pushing its profit for the full year to 277 million baht.
The company derives the majority of its sales from its domestic market where it has managed to achieve revenue above pre-pandemic levels despite the absence of foreign tourists.
Central Retail CEO Yol Phokasub said the company went through “rigorous resilience tests” last year. “With anti-frailty in the DNA, we were able to thrive amid widespread uncertainty to emerge first and stronger,” he said in a statement.
Controlled by the billionaire Chirathivat family, Central Retail went public in February 2020 through a stock sale that raised $2.5 billion. Central Retail is the retail arm of the Central Group, which has interests in real estate, retail, hotels and restaurants.
Last year, Central Retail said it was focusing on its “hard segment,” which includes electronics, building materials and DIY products under retail banners Thai Watsadu, Baan & Beyond, Power Buy and Nguyen Kim. The unit managed to increase its revenue to levels above pre-pandemic levels by 26%.
The group’s digital business also helped offset the slowdown, with the company’s omnichannel platforms generating 20% of total revenue last year.
In early February, Central Retail unveiled an ambitious 100 billion baht ($3.03 billion) investment plan to expand its business and increase revenue by 2.5 times over the next five years. Central Retail aims to energize all of its business segments, including food, fashion, hardlines, real estate and new ventures.
And it is a strategy that is already gaining support. Vatcharut Vacharawongsith, an analyst at RHB Securities, believes Central Retail’s plan to grow its omnichannel platform and explore new growth pillars can support its goals.
“We now believe it can deliver robust earnings growth over 2022-2023 thanks to improved post-lockdown operations across all segments, accelerating business expansion and rising profit margins. “Vacharawongsith said in a research note published in February.