Wed, Oct 31, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Listed restaurant franchise shares jump on Q3 results

SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES:Wowprime and TTFB shares rose 2.51% and 7% yesterday after posting record Q3 profits. Gourmet Master also rallied on strong earnings

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Various listed restaurant operators in Taiwan saw their shares rally yesterday after they reported strong profits for the third quarter a day earlier

The restaurants are also optimistic about the fourth quarter on the back of ongoing expansion.

Wowprime Corp (王品集團), which owns 11 restaurant chains with 265 outlets in Taiwan and China, posted a record NT$317 million (US$10.83 million) in net profit for the third quarter, or NT$4.68 per share, the company said in a statement.

Tai Tong Food & Beverage Group (TTFB, 瓦城泰統集團), the operator of three restaurant chains with more than 40 outlets, also reported record earnings in the July-to-September period.

Despite the sluggish economic sentiment, net profits for TTFB reached NT$62.77 million, or NT$3.36 per share, in the first quarter, company financial data showed.

The record-high profitability led shares of both companies to outperform the benchmark index’s 1.28 percent rise.

Wowprime shares rose 2.51 percent to close at NT$409 on the local bourse yesterday, while TTFB’s stocks climbed to the 7 percent daily limit, closing at NT$188, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), which operates the popular 85°C (85度C) bakery-and-coffee chain in Taiwan, China, Australia and the US, reported NT$260 million in net earnings for the third quarter, or NT$1.8 per share, up 5 percent from the second quarter.

The company saw its shares rise 2.44 percent to close at NT$210 yesterday.

The restaurant operators were upbeat about the near future — from the fourth quarter to next year — on momentum driven by their newly launched outlets, especially those in China.

Wowprime is set to open its first outlet of hotpot restaurant chain 12 Sabu (石二鍋) in China by the end of this year, as the company expected its business in China to continue to grow.

Currently, Wowprime’s 48 outlets in China account for about 21 percent of its revenue, company data showed.

TTFB also plans to spend NT$300 million to expand its restaurants in China, with its first outlet in eastern China expected to open next year, a company statement said.

Gourmet Master said earnings from China accounted for about 70 percent of the company’s overall profits in the first three quarters, and that the momentum would continue to grow in the future.

The company said it would continue its expansion in China by opening about 30 new outlets in the fourth quarter, for a total of 390 Chinese outlets by the end of this year.

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