,Philippines
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Jollibee targeting 500 new stores in 2022

Its CEO expects the business to continue to recover in the months ahead.

Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) is looking to grow at a rate similar to its pre COVID-19 store opening numbers, revealing its target to open 500 stores next year.

“In 2022, we expect to open at least 500 stores, similar to how we were prior to the pandemic and even higher in succeeding years,” said president and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong during the company’s annual stockholders meeting.

Tanmantiong added its domestic business would account for 50% of JFC’s business within the next three years from close to 40% at present, which would bring them to their target to have a 50-50 ratio between Philippine and foreign operations.

The executive added that the company had shown recovery, starting in the fourth quarter of 2020 and continued its momentum in the first quarter this year.

Tanmantiong further expects the business to continue to recover in the months ahead and further grow in 2021 with the opening of 450 stores.

At the end of the first quarter, JFC was back in black, having generated an operating income of P1.5 billion from a P1.2 billion operating loss in the same period of last year.

“Most of our businesses abroad are reaching sales at pre-pandemic levels. In March 2021, our sales in China, North America, and EMEAA (Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia) including Vietnam, were already equal to or higher than March 2019 levels,” Tanmantiong added.

JFC is also slated to make its highest capex spending in its history, revealing it will invest P12.2 billion to continue its expansion.

Last year saw its company’s store network expand with the opening of 338 stores – 81 in the Philippines and 257 internationally.

To strengthen its balance sheet, JFC will issue up to P12 billion (approx. US$$251 million) worth of perpetual preferred shares by September after securing the approval of its shareholders.

The preferred share sale, which the company said is the first in its corporate history, will still need a green light from the country’s regulators.

Proceeds of the share sale will be used to buy back some US$250 million of the US$600 million in perpetual securities it issued in January 2020.

“Once all are executed by December 2021, JFC would have fewer debt obligations, more distributed financial maturities over the next few years, lower foreign exchange risks, and better leverage and debt servicing ratios,” the company said.

JFC ended May 2021 with 5,815 stores globally.

In a separate announcement, JFC and subsidiaries Fresh N’ Famous Foods, Inc. (FNF) and Mang Inasal Philippines, Inc. (MI) entered into a license agreement with Milkshop International Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese bubble tea brand, giving them exclusive rights to sell and market products under the Milksha brand in their stores.
 

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