Tue, Jul 26, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Wowprime Corp is hoping for recovery in the second half

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Despite a continued decline in sales during the first half of this year, Wowprime Corp (王品) could recover from its slump in the second half as gains from its strategic adjustments begin to materialize, Capital Investment Management Co (群益投顧) said in a report released on Thursday last week.

After the food safety issue in 2014, Wowprime started to adjust its local operational strategy, including closing inefficient restaurants and developing new dishes.

Besides shutting down restaurants, the group is expected to launch another Putien (莆田) restaurant in the second half, the report said.

Putien, a Singapore-based brand serving higher-end Singaporean cuisine, was selected as a Michelin Recommended Restaurant and the accolade could lead to sales growth for Wowprime, the report said.

“Reaping the benefits of its strategy adjustment, Wowprime’s Taiwan operation has regained profitability,” the report said.

The leading restaurant chain operator has 16 brands, including 15 self-established brands and one joint venture.

Those brands not only offer different cuisines, but also can be categorized into different price ranges, company data showed.

Considering those factors, the group’s net profit this year is expected to be NT$334 million (US$10.39 million), or earnings per share of NT$4.34, the report said.

Wowprime might not adjust its operation strategy in China since its business in Taiwan is stabilizing this year, it said.

The group is expected to keep expanding its footprint in China, while its Taiwan-based operation is now limited to 133 outlets, about 30 percent of its total restaurant tally, company data showed.

At an annual shareholders’ meeting last month, Wowprime chairman Park Chen (陳正輝) said last year was a challenging one for Wowprime as the company went through a reorganization, resulting in the closures of 35 outlets in Taiwan and earnings per share of only NT$0.45, a sharp decline from NT$9.14 the previous year.

The group is to continue to expand in China by introducing new brands to the market, aiming to open eight or nine new outlets by the end of this year.

In spite of the slowing economic growth in China, Wowprime is targeting a 10 percent increase in sales in the market this year, Chen added.

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