FAST food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) grew its profit by 21.1% in the third quarter of 2017, lifted by improved sales in both its local and overseas store network.

In a statement issued on Friday, JFC said its net income attributable to the parent stood at P1.62 billion in the July to September period, higher than the P1.33 billion recorded in the same period in 2016.

JFC’s global store network expansion pushed revenues by 17.7% to P32.67 billion, compared to the P27.77 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

The company noted sales across its foreign businesses grew at a 24.4% clip. Southeast Asia accelerated the fastest with 39.1%, followed by China at 23.4%, North America at 22.2%, and the Middle East at 21.4%.

In the Philippines alone, sales were up by 13.3%, primarily due to the company’s continued expansion which saw the opening of its 1,000th store during the period.

“All business regions: Philippines, China, United States, and Southeast Asia and the Middle East delivered strong profit growth in the 3rd quarter and in the first nine months of 2017 versus the same period last year. In the Philippines, slight price adjustments and slower growth of overheads accelerated profit growth versus previous quarters,” JFC Chief Operating Officer Ysmael V. Baysa said in a statement.

On a nine-month basis, JFC’s attributable profit registered a 16.3% increase to P5.11 billion, against the P4.39 billion booked in the same period. Revenues meanwhile grew at a pace of 15% to P94.51 billion.

“The organization opened 265 new stores in the first nine months of the year compared with 201 in the same period last year, a 32% improvement. In the Philippines, store expansion grew at 8.2%- the highest organic store growth in at least the past five years while same store sales growth remained strong,” JFC Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a statement.

JFC ended the first nine months of 2017 with 2,756 restaurant outlets in the Philippines, with 1,023 under the Jollibee brand, 510 under Chowking, 262 under Greenwich, 411 under Red Ribbon, 471 under Mang Inasal, and 79 under Burger King.

“Abroad, many of our brands are performing at double digit same store sales growth particularly in China and Vietnam while profit continued to rise significantly. We look forward to continued and long term profitable growth in the Philippines and in our foreign operations. We continue to build our organization capacity to achieve this,” Mr. Tanmantiong said.

Overseas, JFC’s store count is at 888, excluding 355 outlets under the Smashburger brand where JFC has a 40% interest. This brings JFC’s total number of stores to 3,644, a bit short of its target of 4,000 for 2017.

By the end of September, JFC has already spent P6.3 billion in capital expenditures.

Shares in JFC were down P1.80 or 0.71% to close at P251.20 each at the stock exchange on Friday. — Arra B. Francia