Yummy Town Holdings Corp (雅茗天地集團), which operates restaurant and tea brands globally, yesterday announced a stock buyback plan to help shore up its share price and reward employees.
Its board of directors approved the scheme to buy back 1 million shares on the open market at a price range of NT$35 to NT$80 per share from yesterday to Dec. 21, Yummy said in a statement.
Yummy’s share price has plunged 48.8 percent this year on the Taipei Exchange, deeper than the tourism sector’s 14.76 percent retreat and the TPEX’s 20.15 percent slump.
The company said it intends to spend NT$80 million funding the buyback, which would continue even if the share price falls below its target range.
The stock edged up 0.1 percent to close at NT$47 yesterday, underperforming the TPEX’s 0.22 percent gain, the over-the-counter market’s data showed.
Yummy posted earnings of NT$1.77 per share in the first half of the year, down from NT$2.67 in the same period last year.
Revenue in the first nine months of the year was NT$1.64 billion, up 10.29 percent from a year earlier, the company’s Taiwan Stock Exchange filings showed.
Yummy said it would give repurchased shares to employees to boost loyalty and morale.
The company, which owns the Happy Lemon (快樂檸檬) bubble tea brand, said it remains committed to expansion plans in China and elsewhere, and has grown into one of the most popular franchise options.
The bubble tea brand in July expanded to the US cities of Seattle and San Diego, both of which have seen sales grow by double-digit percentage points, the statement said.
Newly opened stores in San Francisco and the Philippines have also put in a strong performance, it said.
Sales in the Philippines last month swelled 67 percent from a year earlier on the back of a menu and image upgrade, it said.
The Happy Lemon outlet in San Francisco sold more than 2,000 cups of bubble tea on its first day of operation, it said, adding that the second Happy Lemon outlet in Dubai reported a long line of customers at its opening earlier this month.
The brand is to enter the beverage market in Australia, Canada and Japan in the near future, it said.
Yummy also operates Real Brew Tea (仙蹤林), The Spiceland (游香食樂), TeaOpal (茶閣里的貓眼石), Fresh Tea (彩茶房) and Alma, according to the company’s Web site.
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