• JFC sees 12% earnings per share growth in 2013

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    Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines, is seeing a 12-percent growth in its earnings per share (EPS) year-on-year, on the back of the introduction of new products and election spending.

    “We should grow our earnings per share to at least 12 percent [in 2013],” Ysmael Baysa, JFC chief financial officer, told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders meeting, adding that the yearly growth target is always pegged at this level.

    In the previous year, the company grew 14 percent.

    In same store sales, Baysa said that JFC should have at least 5-percent growth.

    “In the first half of the year, we are usually behind the spending. But we hope we will be able to catch up for the rest of the year,” Baysa said, adding that it may still take time, or up to the second quarter of this year, before election spending contributes to the firm’s profit.

    “It is possible the total effect of the second half is lower, because there’s no more election spending but we will continue to introduce products,” he added.

    Tony Caktiong, JFC chairman and chief executive officer, also said that the company is looking to further strengthen its presence abroad, with an original plan to end this year with 500 stores in China.

    “Our estimate is at least within 500 stores. We are almost 400 now. In fact, one of the reasons why profit in the first quarter rose 33 percent, a big part of the improvement came from improvement in China. Improvement in China profitability is continuing,” Baysa said.

    For further expansion in other Asian countries, Tan Caktiong said that JFC is still on the lookout on how to expand in Indonesia and India.

    “In Myanmar, we haven’t started looking yet but lots of interested parties are convincing us to go into Myanmar,” he added.

    Locally, JFC is targeting to open about 300 stores, with a total capital spending of P5.5
    billion. This annual capex will be higher than the P4 billion the company spent last year.

    JFC ended 2012 with more than 2,000 stores across all brands in the Philippines. As of end-September, the company was operating 2,040 stores in the Philippines: 765 for Jollibee; 383 for Chowking; 201 for Greenwich; 209 for Red Ribbon; 457 for Mang Inasal
    and 25 for Burger King.

    JFC grew its first-quarter net profit by 33 percent year-on-year to P895 million on the back of growth in same-store sales alongside the improvement in operating margins.

    Revenues went up by 10 percent to P18.15 billion from a year ago. This was supported by the same pace of growth in system-wide sales—a measure of all sales to consumers both from company-owned and franchised stores—to P23.84 billion.

    Madelaine B. Miraflor

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