Philippines food giant Jollibee eyes 450 new, mostly overseas stores as it sees rebound in 2021

Jollibee, the chain that controls more than half of the Philippines $4 billion market with its signature fried chicken, is looking for acquisitions to accelerate ambitious expansion plans in the US, Vietnam and China.

MANILA, Feb 15 (Bloomberg): Jollibee Foods Corp will boost capital spending by a fifth to open 450 new stores mostly overseas, as the Philippines’ largest restaurant operator foresees a return to profit this year following its first annual loss in nearly three decades.

The company will spend 12.2 billion pesos (US$255 million) this year, up 22% from the 10 billion pesos in 2020.

Many store openings this year will be outside of the Philippines, mostly in North America, Vietnam and China, it said in a statement.

"We aim for very strong sales and profit recovery in 2021,” Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said. Jollibee’s sales and profit growth starting this year will be driven by its international business, he said.

The company posted a net loss of 11.5 billion pesos in 2020, its first annual loss based on Bloomberg-compiled data going back to 1991.

It had a net income of 2.05 billion pesos in the fourth quarter, down 34.5% from a year earlier although a return to profit after three consecutive quarters of losses.

Meanwhile, it was also reported by the media that Smashburger and The Coffee Bean are now in reasonable position to start generating profit in 2021.

About 96% of the group’s worldwide outlets were already operating as of end-2020; all regions in the JFC group generated profit in the fourth quarte.

rJollibee’s 2020 loss is lower than the average 12.2 billion peso loss of nine analysts forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

It’s expected to report net income of 4.44 billion pesos in 2021 and 6.44 billion pesos in 2022, according to average of analyst estimates. - Bloomberg
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