Jollibee aims to become Asia’s largest homegrown chain
Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) aims to be the largest homegrown quick service restaurant chain in Asia by 2020.

The long-term goal will be supported by continuous store expansions and acquisitions of several more brands abroad, an executive said.

“We hope in the next seven years to achieve being the largest,” JFC chief financial officer Ysmael V. Baysa said in an interview.

So far, JFC is the largest homegrown fastfood chain in Southeast Asia and the second biggest in the entire Asian continent in terms of sales, Baysa said.

“For Asian companies, excluding US (fastfood) franchises, I think we’re second next only to Japan’s Yoshinoya,” Baysa said, adding that the long-term plan was crafted in 2004 when JFC was the top four in Asia.

In the next couple of years, JFC will continue its store expansion program in existing markets.

“It’s more of organic growth in China, Vietnam and Southeast Asia plus a few more acquisitions. I believe this (goal) is within reach,” Baysa said.

The newest market of JFC, famous for its signature Chickenjoy and Yum Burger, is Singapore. In July, the Jollibee branch in Lucky Plaza shopping center became the company’s top performing outlet worldwide as it attracted 35,000 overseas Filipinos and curious foreigners in its first week of operations.

In the Philippines, JFC is satisfied with its portfolio of fastfood chains.

“I think we are where we want to be already,“ Baysa said.

JFC operates the largest fastfood service network in the Philippines with 2,102 branches composed of 791 Jollibee branches, 388 Chowking, 198 Greenwich, 234 Red Ribbon, 461 Mang Inasal and 30 Burger King as of end-June.

In terms of overseas expansion, the fastfood giant is looking at a few more acquisitions “but not as frequent as before,” Baysa said.

Its last two acquisitions involved Chinese brands San Pin Wang in March 2012 and 12 Sabu in August last year.

“Our view in China has been as promising as when we entered in 2004,” Baysa said. JFC earlier projected to break even in its Chinese operations when it hits 500 stores in the world’s second largest economy next year.

Foreign operations of JFC is composed of 569 stores: Yonghe King with 309 stores, Hong Zhuang Yuan with 44 and San Pin Wang with 41, all in China; 98 Jollibee, 30 Red Ribbon, 44 Chowking, and three Chow Fun located in US, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It also has a 50-percent stake in 75 Highlands Coffee branches in the Philippines and Vietnam; 60 outlets of Pho 24 in Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan; and three 12 Sabu stores in China.

This year, JFC allotted P5.5 billion to put up as much as 300 new stores across all its brands here and abroad. It will accelerate its growth pace next year that will be supported by a record P6-billion capital spending.

Strong sales in existing stores and new branches globally boosted the net income of the fastfood giant to P2.1 billion in the first half, up 32.7 percent from P1.58 billion last year. First semester systemwide sales rose 12.1 percent to P49.9 billion from P44.5 billion a year ago.



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