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Jollibee eyes 450 new, mostly overseas stores as it sees rebound

Jollibee Foods Corp. will spend P12.2 billion ($255 million) this year, up 22% from the P10 billion in 2020. Many store openings this year will be outside of the Philippines, mostly in North America, Vietnam, and China. Image via Jollibee.

Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) will boost capital spending by a fifth to open 450 new stores mostly overseas, as the Philippines’ largest restaurant operator foresees a return to profit this year following its first annual loss in nearly three decades.

The company will spend P12.2 billion ($255 million) this year, up 22% from the P10 billion in 2020. Many store openings this year will be outside of the Philippines, mostly in North America, Vietnam, and China, it said in a statement.

“We aim for very strong sales and profit recovery in 2021,” Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said. Jollibee’s sales and profit growth starting this year will be driven by its international business, he said.

The company posted a net loss of P11.5 billion in 2020, its first annual loss based on Bloomberg-compiled data going back to 1991. It had a net income of P2.05 billion in the fourth quarter, down 34.5% from a year earlier although a return to profit after three consecutive quarters of losses.

Other highlights:

• Smashburger and The Coffee Bean are now in reasonable position to start generating profit in 2021

• About 96% of the group’s worldwide outlets were already operating as of end-2020; all regions in the JFC group generated profit in the fourth quarter

• Jollibee’s 2020 loss is lower than the average P12.2 billion loss of nine analysts forecasts compiled by Bloomberg

• It’s expected to report a net income of P4.44 billion in 2021 and P6.44 billion in 2022, according to an average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg

Jollibee was up by as much as 1.6% as of 11:28 a.m. Manila time; volume about 80% of three-month daily average. — Bloomberg

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