Fruitas cuts losses to P19M as revenues rise

FRUITAS HOLDINGS, Inc. has trimmed its losses to P19 million in the third quarter due to stronger consolidated revenues and lower operatisng expenses.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, the listed food and beverage kiosk operator said its losses were lower than the previous quarter’s P27 million.

Fruitas’ consolidated revenues rose 90% to P167 million, against P88 million in the previous quarter, while its operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization fell 56% to P102 million.

“We are glad to see that sales are recovering strongly as quarantine restrictions continue to ease. In the meantime, we have not relented in transforming our business. We have opened numerous channels so our customers can reach us easier and faster,” Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester C. Yu was quoted as saying.

However, the company’ third quarter consolidated revenues were 63% lower when compared to the similar period a year ago.

For a nine-month period, the company posted a net loss of P32.2 million, a reversal of its P53- million net income in 2019.

Further, the company’s consolidated revenues fell 54.8% year-on-year to P628.6 million compared with P1.39 billion a year ago.

“Better sales mix coming from products with lower direct costs allowed the group to improve gross profit margin for the first nine months of 2020 to 60%, compared to 58.4% during the same period last year,” the disclosure said.

Fruitas said that as of end-September, it had reopened around 700 stores.

The company said the temporary closure of the remaining stores had been initiated by the lessors located in schools, office buildings, food courts, and cinemas that were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The company will be prepared to reopen these stores as restrictions are lifted,” the disclosure said. Further, the company said that as of end-October, it had opened 15 community stores under the Babot’s Farm and Soy & Bean brands as part of its expansion efforts.

Fruitas confirmed that it has plans to bring the number of its community stores to 30 by the end of 2020 and up to 100 by next year.

“These locations house products from multiple Fruitas brands under one roof and double as potential delivery hubs. Sales performance of these newly opened stores are promising and community stores are expected to contribute to margin expansion going forward,” the disclosure said.

The company said it remains on the lookout for acquisition opportunities that can be integrated into its current product line-up.

“With the balance of the initial public offering (IPO) proceeds, we continue to be well-placed to expand our core kiosk business as prime spaces become available and seize attractive acquisition opportunities,” Mr. Yu was quoted as saying in the disclosure.

“Once the economy is back in full gear, we are confident that a stronger Fruitas will be a key beneficiary,” he added. Fruitas earned P820 million from its initial public offering in 2019. It recently bought a 909.5- square-meter property in Sta. Mesa, Manila worth P140 million as its new headquarters.

On Friday, shares in Fruitas Holdings rose 5.84% or P0.08 to close at P1.45 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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