MANILA - Jollibee Foods Corp's net income rebound in 2021 is seen as a testament to the country's imminent recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an analyst said Thursday.
JFC's fourth quarter net income rose 60 percent to P3.2 billion and buoyed profits for the entire 2021 to P5.9 billion from a net loss of P11.5 billion in the previous year, according to the company's disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Pre-pandemic levels of foot traffic in several areas helped push JFC's
fourth quarter numbers up, AB Capital Securities vice president and head of Research Jovis Vistan told ANC.
"It was expected but as far as I know this is above consensus. It’s in a way a positive surprise," Vistan said.
"It’s a testament to what I’ve said that it seems like the Philippines is slowly going back to normal," he added.
Restrictions were eased in the fourth quarter last year in time for the holiday spending, Vistan noted.
In January however, mobility restrictions were tightened again due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the omicron variant, but infections have since declined, data from the Health Department showed.
JFC said it has allotted 17.8 billion in capital expenditures for 2022, higher than the P7.8 billion in 2021. A total of P10 billion is allotted for new stores and renovations of existing stores while P7.8 billion is for supply chain and business technology investment, it said.
The company also plans to open 500 new stores this year, it said.
"We are prepared to make this level of investment if the economies
fully re-open and sales growth remains strong," JFC Chief Executive Officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said.
"We look forward to continuing strong recovery of the business in 2022 particularly if the restrictions in the Philippines are fully lifted, coupled with increased consumer spending during this election year," he added.
Business growth for the future will be driven by expansions in North America, China, Southeast Asia and Europe as well as "healthy profitable growth" in the Philippines, he added.
JFC currently operates in 34 countries with 5,800 stores globally.