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Fruitas opens more stores, nears target count

FRUITAS Holdings, Inc. has recently opened more community stores and is on course to reach its target openings by the end of the year.

The listed food and beverage kiosks operator said in a stock exchange disclosure on Wednesday that it now has 74 operating community stores as a result of the new openings and is nearing its goal of opening 100 community stores by the end of 2021.

Fruitas recently opened a Soy & Bean community store in One Stop Lagtang, Talisay City, in addition to the community stores in Cebu City and Lapu Lapu City.

“This comes as Fruitas is establishing a processing line to manufacture products in Cebu. The commissary setup is a precursor for an aggressive expansion of community stores and e-commerce hubs in the Visayas. This will complement the existing production facilities in the Metro Manila,” the company said.

Other recently opened community stores are located along Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City and Aguirre Avenue in Paranaque City.

According to Fruitas, the rollout of its community store network is part of efforts to widen distribution channels and be closer to high-density residential areas.

“These community stores are also instrumental in serving as delivery hubs as Fruitas intensifies its efforts to build its online presence, not only through its CocoDelivery service and own website, but also through its major delivery and online partners,” the company said.

Meanwhile, Fruitas said it is confident that the business will maintain its recovery momentum for the year despite the potential spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Fruitas President and Chief Executive Officer Lester C. Yu said the company remains committed to continuously bring its products to customers amid the pandemic.

“The pandemic forced us out of our comfort zone. But we have quickly regrouped. We are continuing to transform Fruitas by relying on our strengths of being nimble, of building brands, and by maximizing the efficiency of our resources and facilities,” Mr. Yu said.

“We strongly believe our business is now stronger and more capable to withstand the challenges brought about [by] potential new lockdowns and other health safety practices,” he added.

Fruitas posted a P16-million net loss for the first quarter, a turnaround from the P15-million net income it had last year. Revenues of the company fell 30% to P261 million.

Shares of Fruitas at the stock exchange fell 0.77% or one centavo to end at P1.29 apiece on Wednesday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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