Despite a plan to expand by more than 20 outlets in Taiwan and China this year, which may need strong capital support, the Tai Tong Food & Beverage Group (TTFB, 瓦城泰統集團) still intends to distribute a high cash payout after reporting record-high earnings for last year.
Tai Tong — the operator of three restaurant chains with 46 outlets — posted NT$185.02 million (US$6.19 million), or NT$9.53 per share, in consolidated net profit last year, up from NT$166.2 billion, or NT$9.42 per share, in 2011, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
The firm said its consolidated net profit in the period from October to December last year was NT$35.74 million, or NT$1.3 per share.
Tai Tong operates three restaurant chains specializing in Asian cuisine: Thai Town Cuisine (瓦城泰式料理), Very Thai Restaurant (非常泰) and 1010 Hunan Cuisine (1010湘辣料理).
The group planned to expand its total outlets to 70 in Taiwan and China by the end of this year, with a fourth restaurant chain expected to be launched later this year.
However, Tai Tong’s board of directors yesterday approved a plan to distribute a cash dividend of NT$8.1 per share to its shareholders, driving the company’s dividend distribution rate to a level above 80 percent.
“The group has sufficient funds to cover its expansion plans and shareholder equity,” an official at the group, who declined to be named, told the Taipei Times.
With Tai Tong’s shares closing at NT$190 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the cash dividend of NT$8.1 indicated a dividend yield of 4.26 percent.
The planned dividend still needs to be approved by shareholders at its annual general meeting on June 24, the company said.
Tai Tong plans to open its first Thai Town Cuisine restaurant in Shanghai in the third quarter of this year.
In Taiwan, the company is scheduled to launch various restaurant outlets in Keelung, Pingtung County and Chiayi County later this year, which would be the first time that the group opens outlets outside the major urban areas.
Meanwhile, the group’s plan to launch a food court in China with Golden Eagle Retail Group (金鷹商貿集團) and Taiwan’s largest disperse dye manufacturer, Allied Industrial Co Ltd (中美聯合實業), is going ahead.
The first food court is scheduled to be opened in Golden Eagle’s new department store in Nanjing’s Xinjiekou area in either the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year.