Jollibee seeks bigger buzz in China, but ‘slowly’
Noodles and dim sum gambit

Jollibee seeks bigger buzz in China, but ‘slowly’

/ 02:14 AM June 01, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is keen on widening its footprint in China through fast food chain Yonghe King despite a recent slowdown as the world’s second-largest economy struggles with easing consumer spending.

Richard Shin, chief financial officer of the food industry giant, told reporters in a virtual briefing on Friday that the 3.7-percent same-store sales decline in its China business during the first quarter reflected the economic condition in that country.

“So with no excuses, just based on facts and data, China’s going through a rather challenging time across all sectors of industries,” he said.


“Of course, consumer confidence level is also slightly down,” he added. Recent reports showed that consumer spending in China grew to 2.3 percent in April, the lowest since 2022


But this is not stopping the homegrown fast food chain giant from “slowly expanding in China,” Shin said, noting the conglomerate was targeting to build about 100 new stores there.

READ: JFC bullish on China, global markets

Bulk or about 80 percent of the expansion will account for new stores of Yonghe King known for its noodles while the balance is for Tim Ho Wan, known for its dim sum.

JFC has 553 stores in China as of the latest data. Revenues from this segment contribute about 8 percent of the conglomerate’s topline figures.

“We’re in it for the long-term for China, but we recognize in the short-term, it is gonna be bumpy,” Shin said.

READ: Jollibee lays out P3.75B to bolster brands


In the first quarter, JFC grew its net earnings by 27 percent to P2.62 billion, supported by total revenues rising by 11.3 percent to P61.3 billion.

As of the end of March, the group had 6,886 stores worldwide, with the majority, or 3,549, located overseas. Other brands in its portfolio include Mang Inasal, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Smashburger.

This year, the company is spending P20 billion to P23 billion to open up 750 new stores.

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The listed company set a system-wide sales growth guidance of 10 percent to 14 percent for 2024. —TYRONE JASPER C. PIAD

TAGS: China, jollibee

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