SHAKEY’S PIZZA Asia Ventures, Inc. (SPAVI) reported a net income of P215 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, which was also boosted by tax benefits due to the company’s negative profitability for the year following the losses it incurred.

“We are pleased by the improvements we saw towards yearend, which gave us the confidence to further invest in future growth, readying ourselves to better compete in the ‘new normal’ whilst creating jobs amidst the Philippines’ tough economic environment,” SPAVI President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio said in a statement on Monday.

In the first quarter of 2020, the company reported a net income of P114 million. The company swung to losses in the middle of the year, with P167 million incurred in the second quarter and P171.95 million lost in the third quarter.

SPAVI’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) amounted to P400 million in the fourth quarter, improving from the P6 million seen in the previous quarter.

The company said its system-wide sales for the period grew by 33% from the previous quarter to P1.8 billion from P1.4 billion. SPAVI attributed the increase in sales to the holiday season, increased dine-in transactions, and deliveries.

For 2020, SPAVI incurred a net loss of P247 million, down by over 70% from the consolidated net income of P865 million earned in the previous year.

About 91% of the company’s stores were temporarily closed at the end of March last year.

“Despite our net loss for the year, we’ve managed to pull through with positive cash flows, improved cost structures, and greater ability to address off premise demand thanks to the gallant efforts of our team and the numerous business innovations we’ve been put into place,” Mr. Gregorio said.

Full-year EBITDA totaled P635 million, declining by nearly 68% from P1.97 billion seen in the previous year.

“On a same-store basis, excluding the impact of closed stores, sales were down 30% year on year,” the company said without disclosing specific figures.

Total sales for the year amounted to P6.6 billion, which the company said is 64% of its 2019 sales.

“We are hopeful that dine-in continues to recover this year, but are nonetheless managing the fact that guests will likely continue to need convenient and flexible out-of-store options,” Mr. Gregorio said.

SPAVI is planning to restart a store network expansion strategy that was initially put in the backburner due to the pandemic. Stores from this project will require smaller investment requirements compared to its traditional stores so its payback periods are short, while returns are high.

It is also looking to build locations which will have Shakey’s, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, and R&B Milk Tea stores in one location.

The company is also planning to launch “ghost kitchens or kitchen extensions” for its delivery businesses with a “31 Minute, If It’s Late, It’s Free” promo in selected Metro Manila areas.

“Moving into 2021, the ability to stay nimble and adapt to the ever-changing environment will be of utmost importance,” Mr. Gregorio said.

On Monday, SPAVI shares at the exchange fell by 0.14% or P0.01 to close at P7.07 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte