Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Wowprime Corp to launch Taiwanese street-food brand

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s largest restaurant chain operator yesterday said it plans to launch a new brand this month as part of its efforts to expand its presence in the mid-range casual-dining market.

Wowprime Corp (王品集團) said the new brand, “Ma Lao Da” (麻佬大), would feature spicy luwei (滷味), a Taiwanese street staple of meat and vegetables boiled in a broth with Sichuan flavorings.

The company has set a sales target of between NT$1.6 million and NT$1.8 million (US$52,879 and US$59,488) per month for the new brand, its 15th in Taiwan, Wowprime chairman Park Chen (陳正輝) told a news conference in Taipei.

The first Ma Lao Da outlet is to be in Taichung, he said.

Asked about expansion plans, Chen said that the company’s top priority is establishing a profitable business model for Ma Lao Da, not rapid expansion.

The launch of the brand matches the company’s multi-brand strategy as it diversifies its product portfolios to enhance competitiveness as the high-priced restaurant segment reaches saturation point, Wowprime said.

The company, which operates 19 brands, led by Wang Steak (王品台塑牛排) and Tasty (西堤), said it is planning to launch two more brands in the domestic market.

Wowprime’s net income for the January-to-March quarter rose 58.4 percent year-on-year to NT$130.5 million, with earnings per share reaching NT$1.7, the highest level in two years, as the company said its ongoing reorganization plans are beginning to bear fruit.

Sales totaled NT$4.1 billion in the quarter, a 2.5 percent decline from the same period last year, with revenue from Taiwan-based outlets dropping 8.21 percent to NT$2.29 billion, while sales from Chinese outlets rose 5.9 percent to NT$1.81 billion, the company said in a statement.

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