Wilcon Depot net income up 41% as new stores help boost sales

WILCON Depot, Inc. on Wednesday reported a 40.7% growth in net income to P851 million in the first quarter of 2022 as sales jumped, partly with the help of new stores.

“We are pleased with our strong start for the year as our customers trooped back to our stores when the Omicron variant surge receded in February,” Wilcon Depot Chief Executive Lorraine Belo-Cincochan said in a statement.

She said that comparable sales declined in January at the height of the virus’ surge, but the company managed to reverse the downward trend to end the quarter with an 8.6% growth and a 14.6% total net sales growth.

“We remain focused on our store network expansion, especially with this very encouraging first quarter results,” Ms. Belo-Cincochan added.

The depot format stores’ sales were up 15% to P7.5 billion, which accounted for 97.5% of total net sales, while its smaller format store Home Essentials’ sales declined by 1.3% to P138 million.

The home improvement company said that project sales contributed the balance of P53 million, increasing by 11.3% year on year.

Operating expenses increased by 13.8% to P1.77 billion, attributable mainly to expansion-related expenses in outsourced services, trucking, utilities, salaries, depreciation and amortization.

Including lease-related interest expense or rent expense, total operating expenses totaled P1.9 billion.

Operations-related other income grew 42.7% to P84 million due to increased collection of supplier support and delivery fees in view of the higher business volume.

Non-operating other income, comprising interest income and foreign exchange gains, dropped to P3 million from P10 million due to lower investible funds.

“We are on track to achieve our 100-strong branch network by the end of 2025 goal. We opened our 74th branch in March and we will be opening seven more this year. We are hoping that the return to our pre-pandemic growth path will continue unhampered,” Ms. Belo-Cincochan added.

At the stock exchange, Wilcon Depot shares fell by 21.75% or 50 centavos to finish at P8.00 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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