Thailand’s Central Retail to Invest $3 Billion to Double Revenue
(Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s Central Retail Corp. plans to invest 100 billion baht ($3 billion) over the next five years in a bid to become a top Asian retailer and more than double its revenue and profit.
The new investment will help Central Retail grow its revenue by 2.5 times, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 3.5 times, and propel its market capitalization by 2.5 times by 2026, according to Chief Executive Officer Yol Phokasub. Thailand’s largest retailer will invest in new digital technologies to expand omnichannel platforms in all its business segments and scout for acquisitions, he said.
Central Retail is controlled by the Chirathivat family, which owns a host of industries from real estate and retailing to hospitality and restaurants. The Central Group in December agreed to buy British department store operator, Selfridges in a joint venture with Austria’s Signa Holding for $5.4 billion, expanding the group’s overseas portfolio.
Digital technology will play a greater role in Central Retail’s new growth strategy after it saw online sales boom during the pandemic, Yol said. “By delivering experiences that merge online and offline worlds” Central Retail expects to boost the business of its more than 3,600 branded stores, he said.
“We have already surpassed pre-Covid sales in 2021, and this is without tourists. Once tourists return, any sales we make will only be a bonus,” Yol said, adding the company will look to leverage new technologies across all its businesses in Thailand, Vietnam and Italy to boost sales.
Shares of Central Retail have rallied almost 16% this year on expectations that easing Thai Covid restrictions and reopening of borders to foreign tourists will help it return to profit. The company reported a net loss of 2.3 billion baht for the nine months ended Sept. 30, more than double from a year earlier. It’s yet to report full-year earnings for last year.
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