SEAOIL opens 18 new stations in 6 months

Taking its expansion program into high gear, petroleum retailer SEAOIL Philippines Inc. boosted the number of its gasoline stations nationwide by 18 in just a span of six months, solidifying its ranking as the leading independent oil player in the country.

SEAOIL, which aims to pump up its network four-fold to about 500 stations in four years time, now has 138 stations all over the country and would add up 26 more in Metro Manila, Northern and Southern Luzon and in Mindanao later this year.

The newly-opened gasoline stations include 7 in Metro Manila (Del Monte, Quezon City; Maybunga, Pasig City; Legarda, Manila; Sta. Cruz, Manila; Buendia, Makati; Arkong Bato, Valenzuela; Karuhatan, Valenzuela); 3 in Northern Luzon (San Luis, Pampanga; Sto. Tomas, Pampanga; Urdaneta, La Union); 4 in Southern Luzon (Legazpi, Albay; Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; Sto. Tomas, Batangas; Calamba, Laguna); one in the Visayas (Ledesma-Jalandoni, Iloilo) and 3 in Mindanao (Suggod, Marawi City; Galas, Dipolog City; Talayan, Maguindanao).

Since the Philippine oil industrys deregulation in the late 1990s, SEAOIL has taken an aggressive stance in developing a nationwide retail network composed of both franchised and company-operated stations.

After opening its first branch at Tutuban in Manila in 1998, SEAOIL grew the number of its stations from 1 to 50 within four years, a feat then unparalleled by any other independent oil company.

With its aggressive expansion, especially in theunderserved areas of Mindanao and the Visayas region where it ranks as a strong player, SEAOIL has been able to capture approximately 3% of the total industry marketshare. In terms of market share of the independent players, it leads the field witha 17% market share.

More than half (57%) of SEAOILs existing stations are dealer-owned and operated; 36% are company-owned and dealer-operated; and only 7% are company-owned and operated. About 68% of the outlets are in Luzon particularly in Metro Manila while its presence in the Visayas and Mindanao comprise 5% and 27%, respectively.

SEAOILs rapid expansion has been largely credited to its innovative and award-winning franchise model - the SEAOIL Express Station, the fast and easy way to own a gasoline station franchise.

The Express Station could be franchised for as low as P2 million, inclusive of an initial set of inventories. SEAOIL also provides financial assistance to new franchisees who need it. The company has partnered with banks that in turn provide lower loan packages and more favorable credit terms for SEAOIL franchisees.

SEAOIL was recently honored by Entrepreneur Magazine with three of five awards in its annual Franchise Awards: Best Local Franchise, Best Franchise Support and Most Promising Franchise (Revenue Growth). The annual Entrepreneur Franchise Awards recognizes companies offering the most viable franchise investments in the Philippines. Only 26 of the 158 pre-qualified companies made it to the 5 different award categories.

It was also recognized as the Outstanding Filipino Franchise of the Year in the 2007 Franchise Excellence Awards organized by the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA). SEAOIL also bagged this coveted award in 2006, making the 2007 award its second in a row, thereby elevating SEAOIL into the Franchise Excellence Awards Hall of Fame.

SEAOIL has also been consistently winning in the Consumers Union of the Philippines (CUP) Awards.