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LPG firm eyeing growth in Vis-Min

The Dennis A. Uy-led Phoenix Petroleum Philippines is targeting to increase its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business by about 20% in the Visayas and Mindanao market as growth will be reinforced with its rebranding, a company official said.

In a press conference over the weekend, Evelyn T. Gerodias, general manager for the Visayas-Mindanao market at Phoenix Super LPG, said the company’s target is to surpass the 14% increase in volume it tallied last year as compared with the previous year. She did not, however, mention the actual volume and value sold during the year.

“(The 20%) increase is possible,” said Gerodias as the company has tapped celebrity Sarah Geronimo as its product ambassador and has started saturating the market with the products through its hubs, about 30 at present, and even Phoenix gasoline stations.

She said the company will continue to work on its reach expansion so that it can hit a target growth higher than that of the market. To make this work, the company needs to saturate the market by putting up more hubs and tap its gasoline stations as their way of reaching out to new buyers.

The pricing of the product, she said, also depends on the proximity of the buyer to the outlet which, at present is between P820 to P890 per 11-kilogram tank. The complete set, including the standard regulator and the hose, is sold at P3,200.

Although she did not want to compare the product with the rest of the market, Gerodias said the company is also aiming to enhance its promotional activities to inform the market about the its strength as it has adopted a modern German technology that ensures safe, secured and simple way of installing as well as operating an LPG tank.

Its regulator, aside from having a safety feature, also provides users the way to monitor the volume of the tank, allowing them to order for refill even before the tank goes empty. A regulator is sold at P850.

Pointing out that the product has a good quality based on the standards prevailing in the market, Gerodias hoped that consumers will start patronizing it even if it is late in the game. “We are trying to reach all households in the market,” she said.

Gerodias added that the company is also open to dealership provided that those who want to be part of the marketing the products must have to undergo training and about P10 million in capital expenditure.

The mother company started its LPG subsidiary in May 2017 when it bought the LPG business of the Petronas Energy Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of the Petronas Dagangan Berhad of Malaysia.

Although it tried to just add its Phoenix brand to the business at first, the company decided to rebrand the product to highlight specifically the technology that it is using to showcase the regulator.

In its annual report released early this year, Phoenix said that the LPG business increased to23% in volume on a year-on-year basis, attributing this to the continued expansion.

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