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Feb 24, 2020 / 10:57

Vietnam a focus for Thailand’s Central Group after record IPO

In five years, Vietnam’s contribution to total revenue of Central Retail, a subsidiary of Central Group, is predicted to rise from the current 17% to 25%.

Central Retail, a subsidiary of Thailand’s retail conglomerate Central Group, is expected to expand business activities in Vietnam after raising a record high of US$2.46 billion from its IPO on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

 Illustratiave photo. 

Following the company’s debut on the stock market, Central Retail's market cap stood at US$8.1 billion, making it the 13th-largest company on the exchange.

The prospectus suggested the proceeds will be used to expand and renovate its domestic and international store networks.

As of last September, Central Retail operated 1,922 stores in Thailand, 133 in Vietnam, and nine in Italy. 

At present, 75% of its revenue comes from Thailand, 17% from Vietnam, and 7% to 8% from Italy. "In five years, Vietnam's contribution will rise to 25%," said Yol Phokasub, CEO of Central Retail, in an interview with Nikkei.

Central Group, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, is controlled by the Chirathivat family, the country's second-richest, and is led by Tos Chirathivat, the group's executive Chairman and CEO and grandson of the founder.

The luxury retail business in Thailand faces headwinds from falling tourist numbers due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19. In particular, stores have seen a sharp decline in Chinese tourists, who account for a large part Central Retail's business.

Central Group Vietnam is a member of Central Group, which has been present in Vietnam since July 2011. The group's business activities in Vietnam range from electronics, sports, fashion, shopping centers and hotels to e-commerce and supermarkets.

The group made the headline in Vietnam following its acquisition of a chain of 33 supermarkets and hypermarkets owned by Big C for US$1.05 billion in April 2016.