Thai, Vietnam retail back at pre-Covid-19 levels says Central Retail CEO

Yol Phokasub, CEO of Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation.

Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation says sales in its home and offshore markets have already bounced back to pre-Covid-19 levels. 

Revealing a loss of US$80.7 million in the June quarter, CEO Yol Phokasub said its businesses are showing a positive sign of recovery, thanks to the group’s agility.

“Since June, our business in Thailand, Vietnam and Italy has resumed its sales at the same pace as what had happened before the Covid-19 outbreak in February,” he said. “Its profit (EBITDA) has also been positive again.”

Phokasub said trading at more than 80 per cent of the group’s retail space was suspended for more than 46 days of the 91-day second quarter when the pandemic hit all three countries. But despite the restricted trading, the company’s quarterly revenue was down only 21 per cent year on year to $1.33 billion. 

Revenue for the first six months of the year reached $3.07 billion, declining by just 10 per cent, with a half-year loss of $52.2 million, down by 139 per cent.

Phokasub said the company’s investment in an online model three years paid off during the pandemic as it was able to migrate some trade online.

“During the Covid-19 crisis, the main factor that allowed the business to continue in a secure manner was solid support from customers, business partners, and the contribution from all employees who whole-heartedly worked hard and adjusted their work to offer the best services to customers, as well as resilient business strategies, including cost, investment, and expenditure management, and an efficient liquidity boost enabled Central Retail to regenerate its profit quickly,” he said.

“Central Retail foresees the continuous recovery of the business in the second half of 2020 regarding positive signs including the policies of the government and the capability of its new economic team that will be driving the economy, helping SMEs and stimulating employment, especially in retail and service sectors which cover more than 19 million workers. Public health measures are also important.”

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