Berli Jucker, the operator of Big C in Thailand, reports positive Q3 results and international expansion in 2019.
Q3 sales increase but profit margin decline
Big C sales reached THB 27,855M (US$ 846.7M) in Q3 2018, growing by +7.2% year on year. Gross profit margin declined from 17.7% to 16.8% due to high base, sales mix changes and continued price investments. Same store sales growth also registered a solid growth of 2.5% in the quarter.
Expansion driving top line
Big C opened two hypermarkets in Q3, contributing to its strong sales growth. It is planning a total of eight store expansions for 2019 including one located overseas. While the earnings presentation did not reveal the exact location, Mr Aswin Techajareonvikul, Berli Jucker’s CEO and President, has mentioned that “the company will open a store in Malaysia soon” during Big C's Expo in September.
Mr Aswin said, “We are interested in Malaysia because there are few retail chains and Malaysian customers are quite familiar with Big C through our stores in Hat Yai and Pattani.” This will be the company’s third business in Malaysia, after its operations in glass and snacks.
More international plans ahead
The retailer has plans to open one Big C Supercenter in Laos where it currently operates 46 M Point Mart stores. It is exploring Cambodia as well for Big C expansion. In Vietnam, it is repositioning MM Mega Market wholesale stores to hypermarkets. There are 19 MM Mega Markets and 144 B’s Marts convenience stores. It is looking for locations to open five more MM Mega Markets next year.
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