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Shakey’s Pizza sees better performance in second half

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LISTED restaurant chain and food service group Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures, Inc. (SPAVI) said it expects its financial performance to rebound in the second half of the year due to increased sales and lower costs.

“We see this year to be better performing in the second half where some of our key input costs is already expected to go down,” SPAVI President and Chief Executive Officer Vicente L. Gregorio said during a virtual media briefing on Thursday.

“While we have strategic investments in our organization to prepare for our growth needs, we see that improving sales will be able to offset and provide us the coverage for fixed costs and therefore the margins are expected to improve,” he added.

Mr. Gregorio said that SPAVI is still expecting its top line and bottom line to grow by “mid-teens” as initially targeted.

“We expect to get increasing leverage on our operating expenses as the percentage of sales should come down over the next quarters,” he said.

Mr. Gregorio said that SPAVI is eyeing to open at least 400 stores this year, more than the about 360 stores opened last year.

“The bulk of them (new store openings) would be Potato Corner, maybe about 70% (of the total) because these are smaller investments. There’s a lot of opportunities for sharing this wonderful brand to micro, small, and medium enterprises,” he said.

“Shakey’s Pizza is also expected to open a lot of stores this year. More than ever in the entire history. At least 20 stores will be added to the Shakey’s Pizza system. We are on track, albeit the openings are back ended also in the second half,” he added.

Mr. Gregorio also said the company remains optimistic with the international expansion for its brands.

“We have opened several stores in China. We have opened new markets like Malaysia, and the first few stores in these areas have done very well. This gives us further motivation and encouragement. We continue to grow in the existing markets. I believe we’re in 14 countries right now,” he said.

SPAVI saw a 15% decline in its first-quarter net income to P171 million due to higher operating expenses. System-wide sales grew by 15% to P4.8 billion.

The company has 2,232 stores and outlets as of end-March. Its brands include Shakey’s Pizza, Potato Corner, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken & Sauce Bar, R&B Milk Tea, and Project Pie.

On Thursday, SPAVI shares rose by 1.35% or 13 centavos to P9.74 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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