Jollibee says Highlands Coffee 'profitable', 'fastest growing' among brands

Nika Lazo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2021 09:43 PM

Highlands Coffee logo. Photo from Highlands Coffee Philippines Facebook page

MANILA - Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is betting on Highlands Coffee for its growth this year, saying it will open more than 100 outlets of the coffee shop chain for 2021.

"Highlands Coffee is the fastest growing business in the Jollibee Group, with profitable new and existing stores. Pre-pandemic, its new stores generated very high returns on invested capital," the company told ABS-CBN News on Tuesday night.

"For this year, more than 100 of the planned 450 stores will be [opened] for Highlands Coffee. These stores will mostly be in Vietnam," it added.

JFC's Chief Finance Officer Ysmael Baysa said during an analyst briefing last week that the company will list Highlands Coffee in Vietnam by the fourth quarter of this year.

He said the company also has the highest capital allocation for stores opening of Highlands Coffee this year.

Through the coffee chain, JFC will ride on the bullish Vietnam economy, as it grew by 4.2 percent in 2020 -- one of the two countries besides China that posted positive gross domestic product growth in Asia.

JFC saw a 34.5 percent drop in its fourth quarter net income last year to P2 billion due to the permanent store closures and lower sales per store due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

International brands under JFC include Yonghe King, Hong Zhuang Yuan and Tim Ho Wan of China, Smashburger in the United States, and Highlands Coffee and PHO24 of Vietnam.

JFC is known for local brands such as Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, and others.