Corporate News

By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter

Jollibee aims to expand in UK, Italy next year

Posted on November 02, 2015

JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) sees no let up in its global expansion binge, as the homegrown fast-food giant aims to enter four new markets in the next two years.

EMPLOYEES attend to customer orders at a Jollibee branch in Manila on Oct. 14. -- AFP
JFC Group Vice-President Dennis M. Flores said in a forum last Thursday it is working to bring its flagship Jollibee brand in the United Kingdom and Italy next year as well as in Australia and Japan “soon.”

“We are present in two [continents]. In the next two years, you will see Jollibee in four continents,” Mr. Flores said. Jollibee is currently present in the Asia and the United States.

JFC operates the largest food service network in the Philippines with a total of 2,393 stores across its Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King brands. It operates 630 outlets abroad, bringing its total network to 3,023 outlets worldwide.

Of its global store network, over 1,000 are Jollibee stores, 130 of which are outside the Philippines, Mr. Flores said.

For its expansion abroad, JFC is prioritizing markets with significant Filipino population, with its flagship product Chicken Joy considered a consistent driver of growth.

“Knowing that Jollibee is well loved among Filipinos, reaching out to them where they are is logical for us. We took a conscious decision in prioritizing, going into markets with significant Filipino populations,” Mr. Flores said.

The United Kingdom has the biggest Filipino population in Europe with around 200,000, followed by Italy with around 170,000.

Jollibee had said Filipino markets overseas as well as the United States and China will drive the latter’s long-term growth.

In entering new markets, JFC is teaming up with partners who can identify the best locations and have access to those sites, Mr. Flores said.

JFC has been fortifying its overseas business with the acquisition of a 40% stake in American fast-food chain Smashburger and a deal to exclusively put up 1,459 new Dunkin’ Donuts stores in China over the next 20 years.

The Jollibee Group’s biggest business outside the Philippines comes from China with a share of 12%, while the US contributes about 5%, JFC Chief Financial Officer Ysmael V. Baysa had said.

The plan is to have its domestic business accounting for half of the business, China and US contributing a combined 45%, and other markets chipping in 5%, Mr. Baysa had said.

JFC is ranked first in Asia and 10th in the world in terms of market capitalization among publicly listed quick service restaurants, based on data provided by Bloomberg.

Shares in JFC slid P1 or 0.48% to close at P206 per share on Friday.