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Jollibee sales surge abroad, eclipsing home market

(Source: Jollibee UK)

Philippine fast-food giant Jollibee’s sales are experiencing a surge in earnings following the company’s aggressive expansion overseas.

The company suffered a net loss of US$208 million in 2020 because of the pandemic but quickly recovered and reported sales of $2.77 billion and a net profit of $106,000 in December last year.

“My positive outlook is based on our track record,” said Ernesto Tanmantiong, CEO of Jollibee, at the company’s annual meeting. “We managed to be resilient in the face of adversity.”

According to the company, its rapid recovery in earnings is primarily driven by increased revenues from its overseas expansion. Overseas sales have grown nearly 20 per cent in a year and accounted for an estimated 42 per cent of total sales by the end of last year, compared to 27 per cent in 2020. 

Last year, it reported having spent $142 million on opening new outlets and refurbishing old ones. Of its 399 new stores, nearly 80 per cent are overseas (314). The company has also continued its buying spree of overseas brands.

In November last year, Jollibee announced the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Milk Shop International, a Taiwan-based bubble-tea chain with 250 outlets worldwide. 

The company also purchased a private fund that owned the Michelin-starred dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan and US coffee chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

In the first three months of this fiscal year, group sales were up 24 per cent to $770 million, and net profit increased year on year to $41 million.

 “Systemwide sales of its businesses in China, North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia have already reached pre-pandemic levels driven by continued store expansion,” Tanmantiong added.

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