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GLOBAL EXPANSION

Jollibee sets P20-B capital buildup

/ 11:55 AM June 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) plans to beef up capital by as much as P20 billion in the next three years through the sale of preferred shares, as it expects to return to a prepandemic pace of global store expansion by 2022.

At the company’s stockholders’ meeting on June 26, JFC president Ernest Tanmantiong also said that in three years, the group would likely be able to achieve its long-standing goal of having a 50-50 percent split between Philippine and offshore business in terms of contribution to total revenues. About 40 percent of the business currently comes from overseas operations.

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This 2021, Tanmantiong said at least 450 new stores would be opened across JFC’s various restaurant brands here and abroad as a record-high capital expenditure of P12.2 billion had been earmarked out of internally generated funds and financial investments.

“In 2022 as the world returns to normalcy, we expect to open at least 500 stores—similar to how we were doing prior to pandemic, and most likely even higher than 500 in the succeeding years,” Tanmantiong said.

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Recovery

With China and the US recovering faster from the pandemic than other places, he said international business would likely drive JFC’s sales and profit growth. With Philippine recovery likewise underway as lockdown restrictions are lifted, he said JFC could accelerate new store expansion in the months ahead.

Amid the pandemic which started hitting JFC hard in 2020, prompting the group to streamline operations and shut down unprofitable stores, JFC still opened a total of 338 new stores—81 in the Philippines and 257 abroad. This marked the first time in its history that overseas store openings exceeded local store rollout.

JFC, one of Asia’s most valuable restaurant chains, operates 17 brands in 33 countries. As of end-May, it was operating 5,815 stores worldwide, of which 3,209 were in the Philippines and 2,606 were overseas. It had 402 stores in China, 347 in North America and 531 through SuperFoods mainly in Vietnam.

The group’s largest brands by store outlets worldwide are Jollibee with 1,492 stores, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf with 1,052, Chowking with 616, Mang Inasal with 585, and Highlands Coffee with 468.

JFC chair Tony Tan Caktiong said the group was expecting close to 90 percent of its employees to be vaccinated, boosting prospects for recovery.

Reclassification

During the meeting on June 26, shareholders approved amendments to JFC’s articles of incorporation to reclassify 20 million common shares out of its authorized capital stock into 20 million cumulative, nonvoting, nonparticipating and nonconvertible perpetual preferred shares which will be offered for as much as P1,000 per share.

The initial tranche will consist of up to 12 million preferred shares, potentially generating up to P12 billion in new capital.

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JFC will seek shelf registration for the 20 million preferred shares, to get leeway to offer them as needed over a three-year period, subject to registration and listing requirements.

JFC chief financial officer Ysmael Baysa told shareholders that proceeds would be used to strengthen the company’s balance sheet and eliminate foreign exchange exposure by retiring US dollar perpetual bonds and reducing other debt obligations.

“JFC’s credit standing will become even higher, since we will have even stronger liability to pay all our financial obligation, and this will be indicated by better financial ratios, which means also that should we need to borrow in the future, our interest rate will be less because our credit standing will be stronger,” Baysa said.

Baysa assured shareholders that the issuance of preferred shares would not affect JFC’s annual cash dividend policy of paying out 33 percent of attributable net income.

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TAGS: Business, capital, expansion, Fast food, hamburger, jollibee, pandemic
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