JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) swung to a P1.58 billion net loss in the third quarter, a reversal of its P1.67 billion profits a year ago, as it continued suffering from dampened sales due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Monday, the fast food chain operator said its revenues in the July-to-September period dropped 31% to P29.97 billion versus year-ago figures.

Its system-wide retail sales, which account for sales JFC made through company-owned and franchised stores, fell 29% to P40.59 billion.

On a year-to-date basis, JFC’s attributable net loss stood at P13.54 billion, a turnaround of its P4.18-billion attributable net income in the prior year. The company linked the loss to sustained challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenues in the nine-month period slid 27% to P92.73 billion. System-wide retail sales declined 26% to P126.42 billion.

JFC said the pace of its recovery varies depending on the location of its operations, such that stores in developed countries bounce back faster than those in emerging markets.

Across the globe, JFC has reopened 93% of its store network as of end-September. It has permanently closed 339 stores, of which 118 are in the Philippines and 221 are abroad.

The company is allocating P7 billion to transform its business, which involves the rationalization of its store network, store staffing, supply chain, and support groups. Minus the 339 closed stores, some 168 stores are still in the pipeline from the company’s target of shutting down 507 stores this year.

JFC is also opening new stores in new locations, reaching 180 opened stores in the past nine months of 2020. Forty-eight of these are located in the Philippines, while the other 132 are overseas.

“Our business is recovering from the pandemic in different parts of the world, some faster than others… We are now focusing our effort in rebuilding the business in a changed environment,” JFC President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong said in the statement.

“While the negative impact of the crisis is still affecting us, as we reopen stores, we are introducing new products, resuming strong marketing campaigns, strengthening our systems and infrastructure particularly for digital connections with our customers and for off-premise consumption of our products and opening of new stores mostly in our international business,” he added. 

JFC has 3,247 stores in its global network as of end-September. It operates in the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Italy, United Kingdom, Guam and Indonesia.

The company handles brands such as Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Burger King, PHO24, Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Dunkin’ Donuts, Highlands Coffee, Hard Rock Cafe, Smashburger and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

By next year, JFC targets to generate positive operating income from Smashburger, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and parts of the SuperFoods Group.

Shares in JFC closed at P198.90 each on Monday, improving P2.10 or 1.07% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez