JFC income reaches P2.62B in Q1 on higher sales

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) saw a 26.9% increase in its first-quarter attributable net income to P2.62 billion on higher system-wide sales.

First-quarter system-wide sales grew by 10.4% to P86.83 billion, while revenue increased by 11.3% to P61.3 billion, JFC said in a statement to the stock exchange on Tuesday.

Operating profit rose by 13.7% to P4.1 billion.

“The Jollibee Group had an exciting start to the year with a very good performance that exceeded our profit outlook for the first quarter. Our revenue growth of 11.3% translated to robust 13.7% and 26.9% growth in operating income and net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company, respectively,” Jollibee Group Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said.

“System-wide sales grew by 10.4%, with both the Philippine and international markets delivering growth in double-digits lapping a strong first quarter 2023. The Jollibee brand, which leads our chicken category grew ahead of the Jollibee Group at 15.8%, with its international operations growing by 25.2%,” he added.

Same-store sales growth (SSSG) of JFC’s Philippine business rose by 6.9%, while the international business increased by 3.2%.

On the other hand, the SSSG of the company’s China business declined by 3.7% versus a strong SSSG a year ago, in line with China’s quick service restaurant industry and weak consumer spending.

Meanwhile, JFC is sticking to previously announced targets for 2024.

It aims a system-wide sales growth of 10%-14%, SSSG of 5%-7%, store network increase of 7%-8%, and operating profit growth of 10%-15%.

The company earmarked P20 to P23 billion as capital expenditure budget to fund its goal of opening 700-750 new stores this year.

“We are slightly ahead of our guided growth rates. Our business fundamentals are strong, and we are poised to continue our growth trajectory, leveraging the strength of our brands and strategic investments to support our long-term growth plans,” JFC Chief Financial Officer Richard Shin said.

Mr. Shin added that JFC’s recent move to acquire 10% of United States-based beverage tech company Botrista, Inc. for $28 million will further grow the company’s coffee and tea segment.

“Through Botrista’s DrinkBot machines, we’d be able to increase our distribution footprint in the important US market, at zero to minimal capital expenditure as well as deliver superior commercial returns. Our existing stores can subscribe to Drinkbots and get instant sales lift,” he said.

As of end-March, JFC increased its store network by 5.3% to 6,886 stores worldwide consisting of 3,337 in the Philippines and 3,549 international branches.

Of the international stores, the company has 553 in China, 386 in North America, 344 in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), 782 with Highlands Coffee mainly in Vietnam, 1,165 with Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL), and 319 with Milksha.

The company’s largest brands by store outlets worldwide include Jollibee with 1,676, CBTL with 1,165, Highlands Coffee with 782, and Chowking with 616.

The Jollibee brand was recently cited as the second most valuable brand in the Philippines by the London-based brand valuation consultancy agency Brand Finance in its Brand Finance Philippines 2024 Report. 

On Tuesday, JFC shares improved by 0.18% or 40 centavos to P219.20 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave