* To spend up to $218 mln on new stores, warehouse
* Plans to seek licence for China later this year
* Will apply to open outlets in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia
* Shares down, but outperforms over past 12 months
By Saranya Suksomkij
BANGKOK, Jan 30 CP All, Thailand's
largest convenience store chain, outlined plans to boost
investment spending and expand its 7-Eleven network to China and
neighbouring countries as it looks to grow both at home and
CP All, controlled by Thailand's wealthiest man, Dhanin
Chearavanont of unlisted Charoen Pokphand Group, planned to open
up to 550 new branches and warehouses in Thailand this year to
help defend its 75 percent market share, President Piyawat
Titasattavorakul told reporters.
The company also planned to apply for a licence for one of
10 zones in China, aiming to focus initially on the area around
"Within this year, I'm confident that we will get a licence
from China," Piyawat told reporters. "After we get a licence in
China, we will expand further to AEC (Asean Economic Community).
We will seek licences in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia,"
CP All, which aims to have 10,000 7-Eleven stores in
Thailand by 2018, is already one of the network's largest
operators. Thailand hosts the world's third-largest number of
outlets after Japan and the United States, according to
7-Eleven's corporate website.
Piyawat said it would take the group at least three years to
break even in China, but gave no details about the number of
stores the group hoped to roll out.
CP All's parent company Charoen Pokphand has close links to
China and was tasked under China's latest five-year plan with
helping to modernise the country's farm sector.
Seven-Eleven stores already operate in a number of areas in
China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.
Piyawat said CP All would apply for licences to open
7-Eleven stores in neighbouring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia ahead
of plans to create a single regional common market for Southeast
Asian countries by 2015.
CP All, which is seen as a proxy for domestic consumption in
Thailand, planned to spend 6.0 billion baht to 6.5 billion baht
($201 million to $218 million) this year to open 500-550 new
branches and warehouses in Thailand, Piyawat said.
This is up from its previous plan to spend 5.0-5.5 billion
baht a year for each of 2012 and 2013 to open 450-500 new
outlets a year.
"We want to maintain our market share even though the
competition will be fiercer," he said, adding that the group
aimed to have 7,370 stores in Thailand at the end of this year.
Competition in Thailand is expected to heat up after the
acquisition of a stake in the Thai unit of Japanese-based Family
Mart by the Chirathiwat family, which controls unlisted
Central Group, Thailand's largest retailer.
Lawson Inc, Japan's second-largest convenience
store chain has also formed a joint venture with Saha
Pattanapibul Pcl, part of the Saha Group, Thailand's
leading maker and distributor of consumer products.
Other rivals include Lotus Express, run by the Thai unit of
Britain's Tesco, and Mini BigC of Big C Supercenter Pcl
, controlled by France's Casino.
CP All expected 2013 revenue to rise 13-15 percent due to
the big expansion of its network, and Piyawat said he expected
net profit to rise at least 15 percent this year.
According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, the company, which is
due to report 2012 earnings next month, is expected to report a
net profit of 13.5 billion baht for 2013, up from an estimated
11 billion baht for 2012, a 23 percent rise.
In the first nine months of 2012, it made net profit of 8.26
billion baht, up 28 percent from a year earlier.
At the midday break, CP All shares were down 0.5 percent,
while the main index was 0.5 percent higher. The stock
has risen 70 percent in the past 12 months, outperforming a 37
percent rise in the main index.
($1 = 29.80 Baht)
(Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould and