Cost management bearing fruit for Berjaya Food

It also adjusted new store opening targets for Berjaya Starbucks to 25 stores a year from 18-25 stores a year.

PETALING JAYA: Two research houses have raised their target price expectations for Berjaya Food Bhd as the easing of the movement control order this month takes off.

Both AmInvestment Research and Maybank IB Research have a “buy’’ call and have also raised their earnings estimates.

The upgrades are based on the recent financial results of Berjaya Food that beat most analysts’ estimates.

The better results by the group, which focuses on development and operation of restaurant and cafe chains and retail outlets in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries, were driven by the implementation of effective cost management.

Maybank raised its target price to RM2 from RM1.22 a share, while AmInvestment from RM1.25 to RM1.72 a share.

In yesterday’s trading, Berjaya Food gained 5.3%, up 8 sen, to close at RM1.59.

Maybank raised its FY20/FY21/FY22 earnings estimates by 23%/24%/27% after lowering the tax rate assumptions to 37% per year from 45% per year

It also adjusted new store opening targets for Berjaya Starbucks to 25 stores a year from 18-25 stores a year.

It said at end-second quarter FY21, Berjaya Food has 325 Starbucks stores (+3 stores quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q)) and its Kenny Rogers Roasters stores remained unchanged q-o-q at 71.

The research house said although sales might see a dip at the onset of MCO 2.0 (from Jan 13), the group is well equipped to cater to ever-changing consumer behaviours through its various sales channels (delivery, drive-thru, in-store).

The resumption of dine-in customers with a maximum of two pax from yesterday onwards will further aid its in-store sales recovery going forward.

In comparison, AmInvestment earnings forecasts are higher for FY21, FY22 and FY23 by 64%, 38% and 35% respectively to account for a strong recovery coming out of the pandemic.

Consensus analysts estimates of net profit for FY21/22/23 are RM28mil, RM32mil, and RM36mil. AmInvestment and Maybank are looking at core net profit RM35mil/RM38mil/RM44mil and RM46mil/RM48mil/RM50mil respectively.

“We have also accounted for higher-than-expected sales and operating profit margin resulting from the cost rationalization initiatives, ’’ AmInvestment said.

It added that the positive impact of the cost streamlining measures is finally coming into fruition.

Also, Kenny Rogers Restaurants is expected to break even by end-FY21.

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