Thailand’s retail giant Central plans 100 billion baht investment by 2026

Central Festival Chiangmai | Photo via Wikipedia

Over the next 5 years, Southeast Asia’s largest retailer plans to invest 100 billion baht to grow its business even more. The Thailand-based Central Retail Corporation Pcl, which has more than 20 department stores and shopping centres across Thailand as well as two outlets in Indonesia, says the investment, which is around US$3.03 billion, is aimed at increasing revenue and market capitalisation.

This 5-year goal includes bolstering its food, fashion, and other business lines by growing its online shopping platforms, adding that the majority of the money will go toward physical store expansions and upgrades, with the rest going toward technology, according to its CEO Yol Phokasub.

“Online is not going to kill offline, but will complement each other.”

Yol said his company is aiming to increase its EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation) by 3.5 times by 2026 since it has only made revenue of 136.8 billion baht (US$416 billion) and 12 billion baht (US$36 billion) EBITA with an overall loss of 2.1 billion baht (US$6.3 billion) in the nine months to September last year.

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Thailand generates about 72% of Central’s revenue, with the rest coming from Vietnam and Italy. In December, its parent company, Central Group, which is owned by the affluent Chirathivat family, agreed to a US$5 billion agreement with Austrian real estate firm Signa Group to buy luxury British shop chain Selfridges.

SOURCE: Reuters

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