Jollibee bullish on breaching this year’s targets

JOLLIBEE FOODS Corp. (JFC) is bullish that it would exceed its store opening, sales, and income targets this year, an official of the listed quick-service restaurant operator said on Tuesday.
“For the rest of the year, we believe that we will not only deliver to guidance but we will likely exceed it,” JFC Chief Financial Officer Richard Chong Woo Shin said in a virtual media briefing.
“At the end of the first half, we are on line with the store network, we are a little bit behind on the capital expenditure because we are most selective,” he said.
“Our system-wide sales and same-store sales are outside of the higher end of the guidance, meaning we are beating the guidance, and our operating income is ahead of guidance,” he added.
Mr. Shin said in his presentation that as of the first half, JFC’s store network had a 5.1% increase, a bit higher than the target of at least a 5% increase for 2023.
He added that as of the semester, JFC’s system-wide sales rose 23.3%, while same-store sales increased by 15.1%, which are both higher than the 2023 targets of 15-20% growth and 7-10% growth, respectively. 
Mr. Shin also said JFC’s operating income rose 50.7% in the first half, higher than the 2023 target of 20% to 25%.
However, he said JFC’s gross store openings across the world as of the first half reached 270 stores, far from the 550 to 600 gross store openings aimed for this year.
Also, Capital expenditure for the first six months was at P5 billion, way lower than the P17 billion to P19 billion planned this year.   
JFC posted a 13.9% decline in its first-half attributable net income to P4.39 billion from P5.1 billion a year ago.
“As it turns out, I think in particular, with all the macro headwinds and the challenges that we have with inflation and so forth, our consumers are telling us that great value, great tasting, innovative quick-service restaurant segment is the right place to be,” Mr. Shin said.
According to Mr. Shin, the optimism is due to the strong performance of its primary businesses.
“The optimism comes from seeing strong month-on-month performance in our domestic business and also seeing some of our laggards of last year turning around. Europe has always been steady,” Mr. Chin said.
“I think it is really coming from the fact that our bigger engines have been performing well based on fundamentals. We are not price discounting, we are not taking extreme pricing either. We are just continuing to do what we do and it seems to be gaining momentum,” he added.   
On Tuesday, shares of JFC at the local bourse dropped P4.80 or 1.97% to end at P239 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave