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Jollibee set to open 1st stores in London, Macau, Manhattan

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HOMEGROWN FOOD giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) will be opening its first stores in the United Kingdom (UK), Macau, and Manhattan within the next few months.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed company said its first store in Macau will be unveiled on Sept. 28.

In the United Kingdom, Jollibee will open its first store along Earls Court Road in London on Oct. 20.

JFC has yet to set an exact date for its Manhattan, New York opening, but said that it will happen “within a few months.”

JFC’s opening in the three new locations forms part of its plan to take advantage of the large population of Filipino workers abroad.

Aside from Filipinos, the company said it is starting to see more local markets enjoying its brands. For instance, it noted its customers in Vietnam and Brunei are all locals, with the company being one of the fastest growing chains in both locations.

JFC added that more than half of its customers in Hong Kong and Singapore are also locals.

“JFC envisions to continue replicating its success in the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong and Singapore in other markets soon,” the company said.

The fast food giant earlier said it will be putting up 500 stores globally this year, with around 250 to 300 located in the Philippines.

Alongside the store expansion, JFC is also keeping its eye open for new acquisitions that would fast track its growth.

Earlier this month, the company announced its partnership with celebrity chef Rick Bayless for the expansion of the latter’s Mexican casual restaurant chain called Tortas Frontera LLC in the United States.

JFC registered a 16% increase in its net income attributable to the parent in the first six months of 2018 to P4 billion, following a 23% jump in system-wide sales to P99.91 billion in the same period. The company attributed its positive performance to its continued store network growth, strong same stores sales growth, and the consolidation of US-based burger chain Smashburger in the first semester.

As of end-June, the company had a total of 4,279 stores globally, 20% higher than what it had in the same period a year ago.

Shares in JFC dropped by 2.54% or P7 to close at P269 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia