How Vicki Belo is dealing with price spikes

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2018 12:32 PM

How Vicki Belo is dealing with price spikes 1
Belo Medical Group founder Vicki Belo attends to a patient at her Makati City clinic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Belo Medical Group, the country's largest beauty clinic chain, is looking at "a lot lower" net income, as rising costs cut into margins, according to its founder, Vicki Belo.

Imported materials have become more costly, along with fragrances and packaging materials. Higher fuel prices have also padded delivery costs, Belo told ABS-CBN News.

Belo said she did not pass on to clients the cost of higher taxes on beauty procedures under the first tranche of tax reforms that took effect last January.

"My income today is a lot lower than it used to be. The gross is much bigger but the net is much smaller because everything is just so expensive," she said, without disclosing the company's actual earnings.

The company is holding off on price increases despite higher production costs, said Belo Medical Group managing director Cristalle Belo-Pitt said.

"We feel the pressure from that end but we don't wanna pass it on to the consumer if it is not necessary," she said.

Belo-Pitt said the company decreased the sizes of its products to keep prices steady. Its 135-gram bath soaps are now available in 90-gram and 65-gram variants that are wrapped in plastic sachets instead of boxes.

"We came up with a smaller-sized, less-priced packaging so at least it's something that can suit the appetite of the consumer," she said.

"Like if they are not ready to spend P60, they can spend P20 to P30 on a soap," she said.

The celebrity doctor's eldest daughter said the beauty industry would survive rising consumer prices.

"The good thing about it is beauty never suffers especially when times are so bad and people are so depressed because people need to feel good about themselves," she said.

"Self-care, feeling good, it's really part of it. They won't let go. So thankfully, I think we will survive," she said.

The company pursuing its expanding to the Middle East, with plans to open a Dubai clinic in 2019, the elder Belo said.