Major restaurant chains booming

BIG RISK, BIG REWARD::TTFB, Wowprime and Gourmet Master saw yearly revenue jump due to their respective expansion plans, despite a slower-than-expected October

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 - Page 13

The nation’s major listed restaurant operators saw their revenue in the first 10 months of the year grow more than 20 percent from a year earlier on the back of their expansions over the past year.

The Tai Tong Food & Beverage Group (TTFB, 瓦城泰統集團), the operator of three restaurant chains with more than 40 outlets in Taiwan, posted NT$143.61 million (US$4.93 million) in sales for last month, down 3.46 percent from the previous month and 2.92 percent from the previous year, the company said in a statement.

“The revenue performance for last month was in line with our expectations,” the statement added.

October is usually a peak month for TTFB as local department stores usually launch their annual sales during the month, which can raise business for the group’s restaurant outlets in the stores, which account for about 70 percent of its outlets.

However, various department stores cut the length of their annual sales this year, making seasonal demand lower for last month compared with previous Octobers, TTFB said.

Nevertheless, the group remained upbeat for the fourth quarter on the other round of seasonal demand driven by the year-end banquets customarily held by local employers.

Meanwhile, TTFB’s plan to launch six more outlets in the nation by the end of this year may also boost the group’s sales for the period between last month and next month, the statement added.

The continuous expansion plan over the past year has led TTFB to see accumulated revenue for the first 10 months of the year total NT$1.6 billion, up 26.98 percent from the year before and marking the highest ever level for the period.

A similar expansion plan has also helped drive up business for Gourmet Master Co (美食達人) and Wowprime Corp (王品集團).

Gourmet Master, which operates the popular 85°C (85度C) bakery-and-coffee chain in Taiwan, China, Australia and the US, reported NT$11.12 billion in consolidated revenue in the first 10 months, up 21.8 percent from a year ago, a company statement said.

For last month, consolidated sales totaled NT$1.13 billion, down 16.3 percent from the record-high of NT$1.35 billion posted in September, following the end of strong seasonal demand for gift boxes during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Despite the drop, Gourmet Master still reported an annual 11 percent growth last month from a year earlier, as revenue from China rose 21 percent year-on-year on the back of the rebounding momentum on urban consumption after China’s Golden Week holiday, the statement added.

Wowprime — which owns 11 restaurant chains with 265 outlets in Taiwan and China — also reported its largest amount yet of consolidated revenue in the first 10 months, NT$10.17 billion, an increase of 28.86 percent from a year ago, a company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.

The company saw its consolidated sales stand at NT$978.7 million last month, up 16.08 percent from the previous year, but down 4.05 percent from September, the filing said.