MANILA, Philippinesâ€”Local fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. grew its first-quarter net profit by 8.1 percent to P672 million year on year as both local and overseas businesses expanded sales by a double-digit level.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, JFC chief finance officer Ysmael Baysa said the JFC was expected to grow profit by a double-digit level this 2012, thus suggesting a faster pace of growth in the quarters ahead.
JFC plans to invest P5.8 billion in capital expenditures this year, 56.7 percent higher than the level last year, most of which will be used to open 300 stores and renovate 180 other stores worldwide.
For the first three months, JFCâ€™s system-wide retail sales expanded by 15 percent to P21.55 billion year on year, resulting in an 18 percent rise in revenues to P16.49 billion over the period.
Philippine brands reported a 13.8-percent growth in same-store sales in the first quarter compared to the level last year but the foreign business grew at a faster pace of 20.5 percent. Among the fastest-growing markets were China (26.9 percent), Southeast Asia and Middle East (22.6 percent), and the United States (6.9 percent).
JFC attributed the growth in retail sales to higher customer base and higher frequency of customer visits as the group introduced new products, improved existing ones, renovated stores and reduced the selling price of some products.
The softer inflation rate in the first three months also helped grow consumer spending in the country. The 13.8 percent sales growth rate in the Philippines for the first quarter was JFCâ€™s highest local growth rate in the past three years.
Baysa said gross profit margins were lower in the first quarter year on year but these were offset by lower store operating expenses as sales per store expanded.
â€œThe profits of our Philippine business and some foreign businesses grew robustly but these were partially offset by lower China profit margins as labor and rent expenses there outpaced sales growth,â€ Baysa said.
The groupâ€™s net profits for the first quarter also reflected the financial results of SuperFoods, a Vietnam-based joint venture, which is 50 percent owned by the group.
JFC opened a total of 39 new stores in the first quarter, 26 of which were in the Philippines and 13 abroad.
As of end-March, JFC was operating a total of 2,513 stores globally, 2,004 of which are in the Philippines under various brands such as Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King.
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