Fri, Jul 12, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Gourmet Master expects boost from US

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), which owns cafe and bakery chain 85°C (85度C), expects to see its revenue contribution from the US market account for 10 percent, up from the current 3 percent, with the company planning to accelerate its expansion plans there over the next two years.

The firm, which currently has three outlets in the US, plans to increase the number of stores to eight or nine by the end of this year, Chris Lee (李翰霖), vice president of investor relations at Gourmet Master, told an investors’ conference yesterday.

“The US market is expected to be the main driver for Gourmet Master over the next few years,” Lee said.

At present, revenue from a single outlet in the US accounts for about 1 percent of the company’s total revenue, he said.

Gourmet Master will also commence operations at its first central factory in the US this quarter.

The factory in Southern California may help increase business efficiency for the company, he added.

In the first half of the year, Gourmet Master posted NT$7.19 billion (US$240.05 million) in consolidated sales, up 11 percent from a year earlier.

Revenue last month rose by 12 percent from a year earlier to NT$1.13 billion the company said in a statement.

Slowing expansion in China was the main factor dragging down annual growth of the company’s sales to between 10 percent and 15 percent, compared with about 30 percent recorded over the past few years.

“In the first half of this year, the company focused primarily on adjusting the layout of its second generation stores and products, in an effort to develop a more profitable business model,” Lee said.

However, the pace of expansion could start to recover in the second half of this year after the company’s adjustment plans are completed, he said.

As far as China is concerned — the other major market for Gourmet Master — the company is aiming to expand its franchise model in an attempt to reduce costs.

Gourmet Master was operating a total of 392 outlets in China as of the end of last month, with the company planning to leverage the layout of its second generation stores to more outlets in China this month and next.

Based on internal research, revenue from second generation stores is expected to grow by 20 to 30 percent, the company forecast.

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