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Berli expects 2016 sales to hit 100 billion baht after Big C buy

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Thai trading firm Berli Jucker Pcl expects annual sales to hit 100 billion baht (S$3.8 billion) in 2016 after incorporating its US$6.2 billion May acquisition of hypermarket retail chain Big C Supercenter Pcl , a top executive said on Friday.

[BANGKOK] Thai trading firm Berli Jucker Pcl expects annual sales to hit 100 billion baht (S$3.8 billion) in 2016 after incorporating its US$6.2 billion May acquisition of hypermarket retail chain Big C Supercenter Pcl , a top executive said on Friday.

Berli, controlled by tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's TCC Group, began booking revenue from Big C in May, pushing its first-half revenue up 178 per cent to 59 billion baht, Chief Executive Aswin Techajareonvikul told reporters.

In 2015, full-year sales totalled 44.5 billion baht.

Berli is working on a business plan to make the most of its relationship with Big C and Metro Vietnam, bought by parent TCC in January, Aswin also said.

Berli, TCC's retail flagship, owns 97.94 per cent of Big C after winning a tender offer in February for French retailer Casino's 58.6 per cent stake.

The purchase gives Berli access to the large-format retail business and a well-invested supply chain.

The group has no plan to buy more assets this year as it focuses on its current business, especially in Vietnam where Berli has operated for more than 20 years, Aswin said.

Berli does plan to sell up to 50 billion baht worth of bonds on Sept 7 and 8 to help refinance debt, Aswin said. The firm's debt-to-equity ratio fell 1.5 times after a capital raising exercise in July, he said.

REUTERS