By Ditas Lopez
Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest Philippine restaurant operator, saw its profit jump by nearly 200% in the second quarter as diners returned with the easing of COVID restrictions.
“We are encouraged to see further improvement in dine-in sales while at the same time sustaining growth in our delivery business,” chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a statement Thursday. Sales were better than expected and have returned to pre-pandemic levels, he said.
Jollibee reported a net income of P2.8 billion ($50.5 million) in the three months to June, nearly triple its 976 million-peso profit a year ago. System-wide sales, a measure of all sales to consumers from company-owned and franchised stores, were up 45% to a record-high P73.1 billion.
Profit margin climbed to 17.9% in the second quarter from 16.8% last year, supported by “effective pricing actions and operational efficiencies,” according to the statement. Costs of inventories rose due to higher prices of raw materials and freight.
Shares of Jollibee rose as much as 6.4% as of 2:21 p.m. in Manila Thursday, outpacing the Philippine stock index’s 3% gain.
The fast-food company’s sales and profit have grown historically at a rate of 15% per year, a pace that it previously said would double the size of its business every five years. At the height of the pandemic, delivery and take-out had offset the drop in dine-in customers.
Outside the Philippines, Jollibee’s China business saw double-digit drop in sales as restaurants particularly in Shanghai were shut for most of the quarter due to heightened COVID restrictions. Other international markets including North America offset the fall in China’s sales.
Tanmantiong said he’s “very confident” about the strong recovery of Jollibee’s China business and faster profit growth in the Philippines and elsewhere.
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.