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South Korean convenience chains CU and GS25, operated by BGF Retail and GS Retail respectively, have seen a recovery in their results for the first half.
CU convenience chain recorded a net profit of KRW45.3bn (US$40.2m) from April to June, an increase of 105% from the first quarter of this year. Sales increased 12.3% to KRW1,478.5bn (US$1.3bn) compared with the first quarter. The retailer added 162 stores, ending the period with 12,897 CU stores - maintaining its position as the largest convenience chain in South Korea. It noted growth in meal replacement categories - a key and growing trend that is driven by the increase of smaller households throughout the country.
In June last year, BGF Retail decided to separate itself into a holding company, BGF, and an operating company, BGF Retail. The entities separated on 1st November 2017, therefore YoY comparisons have not been published. Click here to see how the retailer performed in 2017.
GS Retail has posted a 5.3% YoY increase in sales to KRW2,198.9bn (US$2bn), with operating profit up 4.9% to KRW55.7bn (US$49.3m) for the second quarter. This is strong turnaround in profitability after a challenging set of annual results.
The retailer's primary retail banner, GS25, saw revenue rise 4.3% to KRW1,669.7bn (US$1.5bn), with operating profit up 1.7% to KRW65.3bn (US$57.9m). It increased its convenience store network by 8.5% YoY to 12,772 stores. Growth was driven by the development of new products, with private label accounting for 36.7% of GS25’s sales (excluding alcohol and cigarettes) last month.
The performance of the GS Supermarket, the retailer's supermarket banner, was largely in line with last year. Revenue increased 2% YoY to KRW373.2bn (US$330.9m), driven by a net increase of 12 stores. It ended the second quarter with 291 supermarkets.