Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - Page 15 News List

Gourmet Master reports first profit drop in three years

By Chen Cheng-hui  /  Staff reporter

Gourmet Master Co (美食達人), the operator of cafe and bakery chain 85°C (85度C), reported its first profit decline in three years due to non-operating losses.

Net profit fell to NT$1.67 billion (US$54.03 million) last year, from NT$2.14 billion in 2017, according to a company financial statement released on Thursday.

Earnings per share were NT$9.26, the lowest in three years, compared with NT$11.88 a year earlier.

Consolidated revenue increased 4.79 percent year-on-year to NT$24.12 billion, the highest in the company’s history.

Gourmet has proposed a cash dividend of NT$5 per share, representing its highest-ever payout ratio of 54 percent, which is to be voted on at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting on June 14.

The company has more than 1,100 stores around the world. As of Sept. 30 last year, it operated 607 stores in China, 443 in Taiwan, 49 in the US, 17 in Australia and nine in Hong Kong, company data showed.

While sales weakened 1.92 percent quarterly to NT$5.86 billion in the final quarter of last year and net profit hit a trough at NT$292 million due to non-operating losses, the company’s margin recovery stayed on track due to cost controls, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) said.

Gross margin improved from 58.22 percent in the previous quarter to 58.56 percent, while operating margin recovered from 7.07 percent to 7.79 percent last quarter, company data showed.

“Entering 2019, we expect more tailwinds to support same-store sales growth improvement, including new product launches, marketing efforts, product price hikes and less drag from underperforming stores,” Yuanta analyst Juliette Liu (劉珮昀) said in a note on Friday.

Separately, La Kaffa International Co (六角國際), which owns bubble tea brand Chatime (日出茶太) and other food and beverage brands in more than 50 nations, reported net profit of NT$167 million for last year, up 0.43 percent from a year earlier, with earnings per share of NT$4.46.

Total revenue last year was a record NT$3.86 billion, the company reported on Thursday.

La Kaffa has proposed a cash dividend of NT$4.5 per share, which is subject to shareholders’ approval at its annual general meeting on May 29, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The firm said it aims for further expansion this year, hoping to increase its total number of stores to 2,500 by June 30.

Meanwhile, restaurant operator Hi-Lai Foods Co Ltd (漢來美食) saw its net profit for last year fall 11.7 percent year-on-year to NT$234 million due to higher operating expenses, with earnings per share of NT$6.13.

The company’s consolidated revenue for last year grew 6.6 percent to NT$3.57 billion, while cumulative revenue in the first two months of this year rose 7.5 percent annually to NT$753 million.

The company said it would maintain a steady expansion of new stores this year, coupled with efficient cost controls for new stores and closures of unprofitable outlets to enhance profitability and generate shareholder return.

This story has been viewed 1813 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top