Wed, Apr 09, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Wowprime to launch ‘Ita’ Italian restaurant chain

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wowprime Corp (王品集團), which operates 14 restaurant chains with more than 360 outlets in Taiwan and China, is scheduled to launch a new brand in Taiwan by the end of next month, as part of its plan this year to open between 50 and 60 new outlets in the nation.

The group’s 13th brand in Taiwan, called “Ita,” is to serve Italian set meals, with main dishes focusing on pastas and pizzas.

Wowprime chairman Steve Day (戴勝益) said the group has three major plans this year: continuing the expansion in Taiwan by launching between 50 and 60 new outlets, expanding more brands to China and other Asian nations and reaching out to the US market.

The group’s multi-brand strategy in Taiwan will continue, Day said, adding that Wowprime plans to launch a new brand every year in Taiwan.

In China, the expansion will focus on opening more than 20 new outlets of the group’s hotpot restaurant chain 12 Sabu (石二鍋), which is operated under a Chinese joint venture between the group and Jollibee Foods Corp of the Philippines, he said.

As of the end of last year, the group has launched four brands and 78 outlets in China, including seven 12 Sabu outlets. Sales in China increased more than 50 percent in the second half of last year from a year ago, according to company data.

Meanwhile, the company’s first outlet of vegetarian restaurant brand Sufood (舒果) is scheduled to open in Singapore next month, with seven more outlets planned there within five years.

Day said Wowprime is also targeting the US market this year. He said the company is now in talks about brand licensing with potential partners and the results are expected to materialize by the end of this year.

The company has already licensed three brands in overseas markets, including 12 Sabu in China, Tokiya (陶板屋) in Thailand and Sufood in Singapore.

Shareholders yesterday approved the company’s plan to provide a cash dividend of NT$12.27 and stock dividend of NT$0.3 per common share, based on last year’s net income of NT$1.02 billion (US$33.7 million), or NT$13.64 per share.

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