Jollibee Foods Corp. has ramped up its global expansion, opening stores in the United Kingdom. -- Company handout

Jollibee Foods Corp. announced that its branches in the United Kingdom reported record sales from January to September last year.

“Jollibee’s new stores have contributed significantly to the brand’s strong performance in the UK,” the company said in a media release.

Jollibee reported that overall sales grew 417% and over 1.3 million pieces of Chickenjoy had been sold since January. The Chicken Burger also had sales rising 566.9%.

“Two weeks into its European Flagship Store opening in London’s West End in the first half of 2021, the brand recorded nearly 14,000 customer visits and sold nearly 62,000 pieces of Chickenjoy,” it said.

The company also saw a 51% increase in local, non-Filipino customers.

“In one of the hardest years the industry has ever seen, we remain committed to our long-term strategy of investing in Europe, which will help us achieve the vision of becoming one of the top 5 restaurant companies in the world. We are seeing it pay off with many now able to find a Jollibee as they return to normal lives,” said Business Head of Jollibee Europe Adam Parkinson.

Since 2020, Jollibee opened eight new stores in the UK — in Liverpool, Leicester City, London’s West End, Cardiff, Leeds, Reading, Newcastle, and Nottingham.

The company said it will continue to open more stores as part of its £50 million investment in Europe, of which £30 million is allotted to the UK.

Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester and trade envoy to the Philippines, said Jollibee’s expansion is an example of what the UK market can deliver for the Philippines and other Southeast Asian investors.

“It’s good to see the success of Jollibee’s flagship store in Leicester Square, London and that its future investment plans are on track for at least 30 more stores in the next few years,” Mr. Graham said. “It’s another welcome chicken flavored step forward for the UK-Philippines trade and investment.”

Michelle Fatima S. Sanchez, commercial counsellor and director of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center for the Embassy of the Philippines in the UK, said: “I see Jollibee’s entry and expansion in the UK as a win-win proposition for Philippine-UK business. Here’s a Philippine company with the means and the gumption to continue investing and growing in a new market during a pandemic.”

“It speaks well of the confidence that Philippine business places in the UK,” the official added.

In the third quarter of 2021, the company’s net income reached P1.36 billion, turning around from a loss of P1.88 billion the earlier year.

For the January-September period, the company returned to profitability with P2.25 billion from a net loss of P14.5 billion the year before.

On Friday, Jollibee shares rose P2.40 or 1.03% to close at P234.40 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson