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Foodland aims at SET listing

Foodland Supermarket Co Ltd, the wholly Thai-owned supermarket chain, plans to raise its registered capital by 50% to 1.5 billion baht this year and list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand within two years.

Chairman Somsak Teeraphatanakul said the capital increase will fund future expansion, while listing will make the company eligible for special corporate income tax benefits.

The capital increase plan is awaiting Commerce Ministry approval, expected this year, he said.

Foodland will use the 500 million baht in new capital to build a new 10,000-square-metre central warehouse along with a 3,000-sq-m Foodland outlet on Rarm Intra Road km 8 over the next two years, said Mr Somsak.

A feasibility study into developing its first community mall is also being conducted.

“After 39 years in the supermarket business, we want to develop at least one community mall next year,” said Mr Somsak.

Foodland owns 7 rai of land in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district.

In Bangkok, it owns 11 rai on Pracha Chuen Road opposite Dhurakij Pundit University in Bang Sue district and 6 rai on Sukhaphiban Road.

The company would need 200 million baht to develop a mall in Hua Hin or on Sukhaphiban Road and 350 million baht for Pracha Chuen Road.

A hotel was previously planned for Hua Hin, but the project was scrapped after finding that supply now outstrips demand.

All community malls will be developed under a joint venture, as the company does not have expertise in property development, said Mr Somsak, adding that Foodland supermarkets will serve as each mall’s anchor.

The company operates 11 supermarkets _ 10 in Bangkok and one in Pattaya. Sales growth of 5% to 4.5 billion baht is expected this year.

“We have to move slowly on expansion for now due to uncertainty over the new government’s wage policy. That plus it’s difficult now to find workers,” said Mr Somsak.

He said he agrees with raising the daily minimum wage albeit incrementally.

“If it jumps from 180 baht to 300 baht overnight, our costs automatically increase by 3 million baht a month,” he said.

“We could not open any new outlets, each of which would requires 250 new staff, very soon if an immediate hike to 300 baht is decreed.”

Source: Bangkok Post

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