Jollibee to get a boost from election spending, cooling inflation, CEO says


Posted at Apr 26 2019 06:49 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2019 07:55 PM

Jollibee to get a boost from election spending, cooling inflation, CEO says 1
Fastfood giant Jollibee store at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig . Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is "optimistic" about its revenue this year as consumer spending is expected to get a boost from cooling inflation and the May 13 midterm elections, its president and CEO said.

Sales usually grow by 10 to 20 percent during an election year, JFC president and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong told Christine Tan in an exclusive interview on CNBC's Managing Asia. 

"We hope to see the same thing happen this year," Tanmantiong said. 

"We're optimistic about this year, especially in the Philippines, because this year is going to be our election year and in the Philippines, every election year is our peak year. So we are optimistic that we'll be able to do the same or even better," he added. 

The country's largest restaurant operator has also been "overcoming" challenges in the last 40 years, including rising costs, he said. 

Inflation slowed to 3.3 percent in March, below analysts' forecasts.

"We expect consumer spending to be high and therefore the market to be very progressive. We will continue to open new stores and expect existing stores to grow as well," he added. 

JFC is also managing costs in its manufacturing and commissaries' operations, in addition to a strategic sales mix to cope with rising inflation, he said. 

Tanmantiong said JFC tries to retain prices or keep increases "modest" keeping in mind its consumer base made up of the "price-sensitive" mass market. 

"We also try to do some sales mix introduction, with combo meals and other combinations of value meals in order to bring up the efficiency and at the same time satisfy the customers’ needs, because with inflation rate, their purchasing power's going to be less," he said. 
When asked if the company has any "political concerns" about the upcoming midterm polls, Tanmantiong said: "No concerns as JFC has been in the Philippines business for the past 40 years and we’ve gone through all the political changes. We just continue to make sure that our consumers are served properly and satisfied."

JFC currently operates more than 3,500 stores in the Philippines.