Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest restaurant operator in the Philippines, is looking for the development and opportunities of the foreign countries provided by COVID-19 after the historical losses caused by the pandemic.

Following a reorganization in the back of last year, Jollibee CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong intends to launch this year 450 restaurants around the globe, targeting purchases that could be financed in cash and short-term expenditure with 57.5 billion pesos of the business (1.2 billion dollars).

Tanmantiong also aims to meet the long-term target of rendering Manila one of the top five restaurant operators worldwide. The first annual loss in at least three decades last year, Jollibee recorded net loss of P11,5 billion as the virus had hammered off food.

Tanmantiong said in an interview with Bloomberg “There are possibilities out of the pandemic.” “These opportunities are continuously being evaluated.”

Jollibee confronts a terrain modified by COVID-19, with restaurant chains all over the world. The Philippines has sunk into decline in 2020, and in cases with a backlash and a postponed national vaccine programme the pace of its anticipated rebound could be less than originally predicted. South East Asia has the second-highest amount of diseases and in the last year agility reserves have affected companies — one of the worst hits is restaurants and tourism projects.

Jollibee — popular for dishes like crispy fried chicken and sweet gourds — has invested P7 billion on what it terms a corporate turnaround, including improvements to its online distribution and sales network, to address the effect of the virus.

Tanmantiong said now that it’s on a strong financial basis, it can buy as big as the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which in 2019 was the biggest ever to buy at 350 million dollars. “We are not yet able to disclose them because we are conducting adequate due due diligence and evaluation,” he said. It’s products he’s involved in.

Jollibee has been pressing for a second year to expand globally rather than at home.

Tanmantiong says that about 80 percent of new shops in 2021 will be abroad, and that will be ‘equally divided’ between China, North America and South East Asia. By 2025, one-half of its revenues will be from overseas, a pandemic which has been reversed by one or two years, he added. 58% of revenues were produced in the Philippines at the end of 2020.

“We’re now in growth phase to prepare for a pandemic comeback in complete and in the years ahead,” said Tanmantiong. “We invest more in international markets, especially in markets where the pandemic has quickly recovered.”

While Jollibee closed 486 stores in 2020, Jollibee opened several new stores as well, and by end of 2019, Jollibee opened a total of 147 shops. At the end of last year, Jollibee had over 5,800 stores in 33 countries across the world.

This year, the group shares have dropped 7.8% and by 2020 it has lost a total of 9.6%.

BACK CLIMBING

Tanmantiong said that he expects to return the income and development of Jollibee to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 and double its organic market in four to five years.

Restructuring and relaxing the virus interventions by governments rendered Jollibee black in the fourth trimester of the previous year and resulted in a three-quarter straight decline and helped to raise the balance of cash by 2.3 percent to P23.4 billion by the end of 2020.

Jollibee has seen six inventory increases, with Morgan Stanley raising it to overweight, following the announcement of earnings in February 2020. According to Bloomberg’s analysis averages, Jollibee is proving to report net profits of P4.12 billion in this year—to P6.16 billion in 2022 —.

The figures are “available,” said Tanmantiong. “The main question is how fast we will reach herd immunity and the availability of the vaccine.”

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