Wed, 23 Feb 2000

Hero posts record profit

JAKARTA (JP): Publicly-listed Hero Supermarket announced on Tuesday a record operating profit of Rp 80 billion (US$11.1 million) for 1999, up 10.7 percent from 1998.

Hero's president Ipung Kurnia said net profit (after tax and minorities) for last year, however, totaled Rp 91 billion, including Rp 21 billion in extraordinary gains from riot insurance recoveries.

"This represents a dramatic improvement from a net loss of Rp 69 billion in 1998 due largely to foreign exchange losses and non-recurring expenses," Kurnia said.

Hero also announced it would commence next month importing new stock lines of fresh food to strengthen its offer to customers.

"The Hero management team is optimistic that the Indonesian economy has turned a corner and we want to assure our shareholders and staff that we are in a strong position to capitalize on the growing consumer market," Kurnia added.

Since October Hero had opened four supermarkets, 10 Guardian outlets and one Star Mart convenience store, Kurnia said, adding that the company also reduced its foreign debts from $36 million to $30 million last year.