MANILA -- Jollibee Foods Corp said Tuesday it remained "very committed" to expanding in China, as it assessed the impact of new coronavirus outbreak there.
Fourteen Jollibee stores in Hubei province, all under the brand Yonghe King, remain closed. Hubei in central China is the epicenter of the outbreak that has claimed over 400 lives and infected some 20,000 others.
The Hubei outlets represent 1 percent of Jollibee's total store network and 3.6 percent of the total store network in China, Jollibee told the stock exchange.
"While it is too early to determine the total impact of the novel coronavirus on its business in China, JFC remains very committed to keep building and growing a profitable business in China," according to the disclosure.
Jollibee said it was planning to open "more" stores in China, mainly Yonghe King with the goal to have at least 1,000 stores there in the next few years.
Employees in China were allowed to work from home and were given face masks. Yonghe King has also been providing meals to frontline medical staff since Jan. 30, Jollibee said.
Shares of Jollibee were up 1.94 percent in early trading on Tuesday, compared to a 1.32-percent advance on the main index.