CTCP Investment World Mobile (MWG) recently announced its full-year 2023 business results with a revenue of VND 118,280 billion. While the electronics and mobile phone sectors saw negative growth, the bright spot came from the BHX supermarket chain, contributing VND 31,600 billion in revenue – a 17% increase compared to 2022.
Notably, in December 2023, with an average revenue of VND 1.8 billion per store, BHX unexpectedly announced that it had achieved break-even after all corresponding costs, based on the current operating reality and core business operations (excluding (i) one-time costs accounted for in the fourth quarter and (ii) a portion of depreciation costs related to store area expansion (as the restructuring will gradually decrease over time, BHX is confident it will offset this part to achieve net profit for the whole year of 2024).
Thus, MWG’s “promise” after many years has been temporarily fulfilled after a year of intense restructuring. Moreover, 2023 is also the year when Mr. Nguyen Duc Tai introduced a new “leader” to lead BHX. It took Mr. Tai 15 months to evaluate and select a new Director (replacing the previous person, Mr. Tran Kinh Doanh), with 4 key personnel supporting him in running BHX.
The “chosen one” is Mr. Pham Van Trong, currently working as a bridge between the purchasing team and the BHX supermarket team. Mr. Trong is also known as the first Director not to receive a salary from the month after officially taking office.
At the shareholders’ meeting held in April, Mr. Trong stated that the challenge was to work without a salary until there were results. Among them, Mr. Trong announced 5 new commitments of BHX, notably the goal of “Making BHX Online Platform the number 1 in Vietnam” and “Making BHX break-even this year”.
Therefore, with 1 of the 2 major goals accomplished, Mr. Trong will likely receive a deserved” reward for his efforts throughout the year.
BHX is known as the new game of MWG when the mobile phone and electronics industries entered a saturation phase. The reality also confirms the “enthusiasm” of this giant.
The first BHX store officially appeared on the market at the end of 2015. At the end of 2016, BHX completed its testing phase with over 40 supermarkets concentrated in Tan Phu and Binh Tan districts, Ho Chi Minh City. In 2018, BHX revealed that it had found the formula for success, and this was also the year when MWG’s leadership declared their full support for BHX in its ambition to dominate the retail food market.
By 2020, according to Mr. Tai, BHX had become the main growth driver of the entire company, with revenue doubling compared to 2019 and contributing 20% to MWG’s total revenue.
With the motto of convenience and affordable prices, BHX had made a very good impression on consumers in the early years. By 2021, BHX continued to be the main growth driver of MWG: Revenue and scale reached their peak at VND 28,000 billion, with over 2,100 stores nationwide (45 times more than after 6 years).
However, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and the economy slumped, purchasing power declined sharply, and the company’s index also turned downward. Besides, being caught in the peak media crisis in 2021 and the departure of key personnel, including Mr. Tran Kinh Doanh, many views believed that BHX was an unsuccessful step for MWG. With the same old strategy (successfully applied in the mobile phone and electronics sectors), BHX faced too many issues and challenges in its rapid expansion.
Fast growth in revenue, but investment pressure caused BHX to estimate a loss of around 10% of its annual revenue. 2022 was the year the company suffered the heaviest losses, with nearly VND 3,000 billion. Accumulated from 2016 to date, BHX has incurred losses of over VND 8,053 billion, including VND 7,854 billion that can still be transferred as carry-forward losses for the next year to offset profits (within 5 years from the date of the loss).
Despite the losses, according to the 2023 ranking of the 100 most valuable brands in Vietnam conducted by Brand Finance, BHX ranked 29th with an estimated brand value of USD 315 million (about VND 7,490 billion), an increase of 13.2% compared to last year (USD 279 million).
At the same time, BHX also appeared in the TOP 10 strongest brands in Vietnam in 2023, ranking 9th, ahead of VietinBank.