The prolonged political stalemate and economic uncertainty have prompted OfficeMate to lower its revenue-growth target for this year from 17-18 per cent to 12-13 per cent amid weaker domestic demand and purchasing power in the current first quarter.
Chief executive officer Worawut Unchai said the company would try to keep costs down to maintain profit while proceeding with plans to set up branches in Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia in preparation for the Asean Economic Community in 2015.
Despite the tougher operating environment, OfficeMate has managed to post 10-per-cent year-on-year sales growth in the first quarter of 2014, as well as maintaining profitability.
OfficeMate hopes to improve on that 10-per-cent growth rate for the whole year, especially with the rising popularity of online sales orders during the anti-government protests that worsened Bangkok traffic.
Meanwhile, sales at B2S stores were relatively stable compared with its rivals after the company revamped its branch stores in the provinces last year.
This year, OfficeMate has allocated between Bt500 million and Bt600 million for eight new branch stores, for a total of 60.
It plans to have branches in other Asean countries within the next two years. It will survey market feasibility this May and June, especially in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. With growing purchasing power among their consumers, Indonesia and Malaysia are strong candidates for OfficeMate foreign branch stores.
The outlay for a foreign store is higher than for a domestic one, costing about Bt20 million to Bt30 million each, Worawut said.