Philippines: Wilcon Depot loses sales and profit
Wilcon Depot Inc., a Philippine home improvement and construction supplies retailer, posted a 32.1 per cent fall in its first quarter income due to the state-mandated lockdown imposed over the island of Luzon in the last two weeks of the period. Its unaudited financial statement shows that the company recorded a profit of 328 mio pesos (USD 6.51 mio). "Wilcon Depot was not spared from closure when the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was imposed by the Philippine government over Luzon," Lorraine Belo-Cincochan, Wilcon Depot president and CEO, said in a statement. On March 15, the Philippine government imposed movement restrictions over the capital region of Metro Manila in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country. The next day, when the initial stay-at-home mandate failed to keep the public from moving around, stricter rules covering the entire island of Luzon were imposed. Luzon, the country's biggest island, is where Metro Manila is located. It is also home to around half of the country's 100 million people. Although home improvement and hardware shops were initially considered essential, they were no longer allowed to open when ECQ was declared. Of the 58 stores Wilcon has in the country, 44 are in Luzon. Prior to the imposition of the ECQ, the company's Luzon operations accounted for 84 per cent of total net sales. The company's net sales contracted 2.5 per cent during the period to 5.591 bn pesos. Depots contributed 96.1 per cent of the sales, while the smaller Home Essentials format accounted for 2.5 per cent. Belo-Cincochan said that the plan to open eight to nine new stores has been downsized to at most six for the year. "We should be able to hit our 65-store target by the first half of 2021," she said, adding: "The long-term target of 100 stores remains unchanged." The Philippine economy as measured by its gross domestic product contracted by 0.2 per cent in the first quarter, the first time it has done so since the Asian financial crisis 22 years ago.