Stock Commentary

Figaro confirms capex and 'double-digit growth' target

Merkado Barkada
Figaro confirms capex and 'double-digit growth' target

Figaro [FCG 0.75, up 1.4%; 95% avgVol] [link] confirmed statements made by its chairman, Justin Liu, in an interview with Manila Bulletin. In that interview, Mr. Liu said that FCG’s FY24 capex target is P1 billion, that they’re looking to open 70 to 80 new stores this year, and that he expects this expansion effort to push earnings to grow “double-digits” this year. FCG confirmed all those statements. FCG’s indicated that it would expand from 150 stores at the end of 2022 to 300 stores by the end of 2029.

MB bottom-line: According to its Q1/24 press release, FCG ended 2023 with 203 stores after adding 68 stores that year. If FCG were to put up another “70 to 80” stores this year, that would leave it with 273 to 283 total stores by the end of 2024, and give FCG plenty of time (5 years!) to complete the remaining 127 to 117 stores. Usually, in the quick-service restaurant world, periods of intense growth don’t correspond with periods of great profitability, so the “double-digit” earnings growth target is what stands out to me the most. FCG net income was up 7.2% y/y last quarter, and that’s actually considerable given the previous year’s expansion and the current expansion, but that’s not double-digit growth. One thing that confuses me, though, is that in its Q1/23 quarterly report from a year earlier, FCG said that it ended 2022 with 150 stores. If it had 150 stores at the end of 2022 and then added 68 stores in 2023, shouldn’t it have 218 stores by now, not 203? I know, I know: 15 stores isn’t that big of a deal. Maybe it’s just a miscommunication between marketing and operations. Maybe there was a little bit of internal pressure to count 15 nearly-completed stores as completed stores in order to hit that IPO prospectus goal of 150 total stores by the end of 2022, and then they double-counted those 15 stores as part of the 2023 completes? I don’t know. I’m just going by the info they tell me. Any readers have any insight?



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