Filipinos' bathroom obsession drives Wilcon's P1-B income goal

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2017 12:57 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2017 01:24 PM

A Wilcon Depot store is shown in this picture from the company's Facebook page.

MANILA - Filipinos visit Wilcon Depot's mega-stores almost every month, mostly to buy new bathroom fixtures, boosting the retailer's hopes of meeting its P1.2-billion net income goal for this year, its founder said Thursday.

Since it listed on the stock exchange in March, Wilcon's share price has gained 70 percent, as a robust economy drives demand for construction materials.

"The good thing with us, the products that you can really touch and see and these are things that people go for: cement, steel bars," Wilcon founder and chairman emeritus William Belo told ANC's The Boss.

Belo said some customers visit their stores monthly "just to look for new products."

"You want to keep your bathroom always looking nice. That's one of the reasons why people keep coming (to) buy products," he said.

Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus William Belo speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss

Robust demand helps the company hold off on price increases, he said.

"We don’t want to shortchange people. We give them good products at a very reasonable price. I think that's why the company is gaining popularity," he said.

The government's plan to reduce personal income tax rates by next year is expected to further boost spending on construction materials, he said.

The P1.2-billion net income goal for the year is "definitely achievable" after results for the first quarter, a traditionally slow period for sales, exceeded expectations, he said.

The weak peso is unlikely to affect Wilcon's business as up to 80 percent of its materials are imported from China, he said.

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