(This story is reprinted under a publishing agreement with Rappler.com)
Fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) will go for another first as sets out to open its maiden store in Canada this year.
The company is looking at Toronto as the site for its first store in Ontario, Canada, said Jollibee chief finance officer Ysmael Baysa at the sidelines of Euromoney Investment Forum on Tuesday, March 24.
“We hope to be in Canada within the year,” Baysa said.
JFC is earmarking P9.1 billion ($203.69 million) in capital expenditures (capex) this year, mainly to be used for to open more stores in the Philippines and abroad.
Jollibee earlier said it plans to open 330 stores in 2015: 220 in the Philippines and 110 overseas.
Specifically, Jollibee is targeting to open in more areas in the Middle East.
It also plans to be in Japan and some part of Europe over the next two to 3 years.
Jollibee operates the largest food network in the Philippines, with 2,301 stores as of end-2014.
Aside from its flagship brand Jollibee, the fast-food giant also owns Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, and Burger King.
Overseas, it operates a total of 612 stores.
In 2014, Jollibee opened 234 stores: 169 were in the Philippines and 65 were in foreign operations.
Jollibee is one of the top 10 fast food or fast casual chains in the United States, according to the food website The Daily Meal.
Although no opening date has been set yet, Jollibee has confirmed its first outlet in Chicago suburb, Illinois, in Skokie’s Touhy Marketplace, the Chicago Tribune reported in February.
For its latest venture in China, Baysa said it plans to open 5 Dunkin Donuts outlets this year.
In December, Jollibee entered into a joint venture agreement with Jasmine Asset Holdings Limited to operate Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in selected territories in China. Dunkin’ Donuts is one of the world’s largest baked foods and coffee chains, serving more than 5 million customers a day globally.
Jollibee posted a 12.7% increase in net income to P5.26 billion ($117.79 million) in 2014, versus P4.67 billion ($104.58 million) recorded in the same period a year ago.
Its system-wide retail sales – a measure of all sales to consumers both from company-owned and franchised stores – grew 13.3%in 2014 to P117.89 billion ($2.64 billion), compared to P104.09 billion ($2.33 billion) in 2013.
The 2014 sales growth was driven by an 8% same-store sales growth for the local and overseas operations and a 5.4% growth in store network.
JFC’s profit margins though were affected by the increase in price of raw materials, including higher general and administrative expenses to support information technology-related costs.
In August 2014, JFC had to temporarily closed down 72 stores under its umbrella, representing 3.2% of its total store network, because of the limited availability of chicken, burgers, and other bestsellers due to its migration to a costly, new Information Technology system. – Rappler.com
*Toronto, Ontario Canada streetcar image from Shutterstock
*Jollibee mascot image from Wikicommons