• Pancake House to end 2013 with 350 stores

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    The listed casual dining chain Pancake House Inc. (PHI) is beefing up its branch network for all of its store brands locally and globally this year, with a target to end 2013 with 350 stores system-wide.

    PHI Chief Executive Officer Martin Lorenzo said that the firm is planning to put up 30 stores this year locally, and 20 new branches in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

    “We will end the year with about 330 stores system-wide. Abroad, we should have 20 by the end of the year,” Lorenzo reiterated, adding that majority of the local stores will be established outside Metro Manila or in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Baguio City, La Union and Palawan.

    He also said that the company is set to open a Pancake House store in Brunei and one Yellow Cab branch in Singapore, specifying that internationally, the firm has opened six stores in Malaysia and even secured a developmental investment agreement in the United Arab Emirates.

    “I am very encouraged in Middle East, Southeast Asia and even in the Philippines in the new wave cities and tourist destinations like Palawan, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro. There is so much growth locally,” Lorenzo said.

    “We’re growing in Malaysia. In Qatar, we have six stores. We signed developmental agreement in UAE for 15 stores in the next three years, which will be in Doha and Abu Dhabi. We signed a franchise agreement for Pancake House in Kuwait. We’re surely growing in the Middle East for Yellow Cab and Southeast Asia for Pancake House,” he added.

    Overseas, most of the company’s stores are franchised rather than company-owned or joint venture, while locally, 45 percent of its stores are franchised and 55 percent are company owned.

    PHI, meanwhile, is looking at 45-percent to 50-percent growth in its profit for this year, which would be driven by same store sales.

    The company has also earmarked P150 million for the rollout of new stores this year. This capital spending is higher than the P120 million the company spent in 2012.

    “We would be looking to acquire brands next year,” Lorenzo further said, adding that the company is eyeing food restaurant chains that has market capitalization of about P2 billion.

    PHI earlier disclosed in a regulatory filing that it will establish its first Yellow Cab and Teriyaki Boy stores in Hawaii in the third quarter of this year.

    The listed firm also reported a net income of P149 million in 2012, or a 50-percent increase from the P99 million it earned in the previous year. Its consolidated revenues went up 47 percent to P3.43 billion from P2.34 billion over the same period. System-wide sales of the company, which includes the total sales of company-owned and franchised stores, also rose 8.65 percent to P4.02 billion from P3.7 billion in 2011.

    “Clearly, the full-year consolidation of the Yellow Cab business contributed to the double-digit growth of the company—a strategy undertaken to create a larger critical business mass, making the company the biggest player in the casual dining segment,” PHI said in the filing. The company acquired the Yellow Cab Pizza Co. in September 2011.

    Other brands owned by PHI are Teriyaki Boy, Sizzlin’ Pepper Steak, Dencio’s, Le Couer de France and The Chicken Rice Shop.

    Madelaine B. Miraflor

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