Jollibee Foods delays Mang Inasal overseas expansion

By Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jul 10 2012 07:48 AM | Updated as of Jul 10 2012 03:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), the country's biggest fast-food chain, is pushing back the overseas expansion plans of the Mang Inasal grilled chicken chain.

Company chairman and chief executive officer Tony Tan Caktiong told reporters on Monday that the Jollibee may bring Mang Inasal abroad by the middle of 2013 instead of earlier plans to expand in the US or the Middle East in October.

“It’s more a limitation of human resources. We are still expanding aggressively in the Philippines,” Tan said at the sidelines of the launch of the company’s loyalty card, happyplus card, in partnership with Bank of the Philippine Islands.

“The market [overseas] is ready. But maybe [we will do it by] mid next year,” he added. Mang Inasal, JFC’s most recent major acquisition in the Philippines, had 436 stores by the end of the first quarter.

Tan, meanwhile, said JFC expects sales growth in the second quarter to come in “a little bit softer” when compared with that of the first three months. In terms of margins, he said the company’s operations in China remains a challenge even as commodity prices continue to soften.

“We have included a commissary in China. Since that has not yet been fully maximized, there are more expenses and it will take some time for the commissary to stabilize,” Tan said.

JFC reported that net income in the first quarter rose 8.1 percent to P682 million while system-wide sales increased 15 percent to P21.55 billion.