Thailand's Central Retail plans $3.3 bln investment by 2026

BANGKOK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Thailand's Central Retail Corporation Pcl (CRC) (CRC.BK) said on Tuesday it plans to invest 100 billion baht ($3.03 billion) over the next five years to expand its retail businesses.

The Southeast Asian country's biggest retailer also said in a statement it aims to boost revenue growth and market capitalisation by 2.5 times over the period.

CRC's five-year strategy includes expanding its online shopping platforms to bolster its food, fashion and other business lines, chief executive, Yol Phokasub, said.

The bulk of investment will be used for physical store expansion and upgrades, with the rest for technology, Yol told a virtual news conference.

"Online is not going to kill offline, but will complement each other," he said.

As part of plans for 2026, CRC is targeting boosting its EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation) by 3.5 times.

In the nine-months to September 2021, the company booked revenue of 136.8 billion baht and EBITA of 12 billion baht for an overall loss of 2.1 billion baht.

About 72% of CRC's revenue is generated in Thailand and the remainder in Vietnam and Italy.

In December, its parent company Central Group, owned by the billionaire Chirathivat family, acquired luxury British store chain Selfridges with Austrian real estate firm, Signa Group, in a $5 billion deal.

($1 = 33.0000 baht)

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies

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