Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Wowprime guides for sharp earnings recovery in Q1

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter, in Hsinchu

Wowprime Corp (王品集團) yesterday said its preliminary first-quarter results showed earnings per share (EPS) jumped to NT$4 from NT$1.97 the previous quarter, after the group’s net profit margin moved above the 10 percent level last quarter.

Wowprime chairman Steve Day (戴勝益) said that net profit margin improved as it did not have to book investment expense this year.

PRICE HIKES

The recovery also came after the group raised the prices of some of its brands in the first quarter, he said.

“The group recognized some investments from its business in China in the second half of last year, while food-safety issues were hitting the food and beverage industry last year,” Day told a media briefing during the company’s annual manager gathering in Hsinchu.

“The two issues dragged down our net profit margin and earnings during that period,” he said. “But the strong results in the first quarter showed that the group’s business is back on track.”

The company is to submit a formal report on its first-quarter performance on April 26.

Wowprime operates 14 restaurant chains, with more than 368 outlets in Taiwan and China as of the end of last month.

EXPANSION

The restaurant group aims to focus on expanding its low-price brands to raise these brands’ sales contribution to 45 percent of its total revenue within 10 years and 85 percent in 2030, compared with 14.6 percent currently, Day said.

He added that the group has experienced higher acceptability of its brands, with average customer spending remaining under NT$300.

Wowprime operates four low-price chains, including hot-pot restaurant chain 12 Sabu (石二鍋), cafe brand Famonn Coffee (曼咖啡), teppanyaki chain Hot 7 and Pintian (品田牧場), which specializes in Japanese-style pork chops.

SALES INCREASE

Wowprime’s consolidated sales reached NT$1.32 billion last month, up 18.7 percent from a year earlier and up 8.2 percent from the previous month, the group said in a statement.

For the first three months of the year, revenue totaled NT$4.31 billion, an increase of 24.6 percent from a year ago, the statement said.

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