Jollibee looks to bolster regional presence

Philippines’ restaurant chain Jollibee Foods Corp (JFC) is looking to make an entry in Malaysia and Indonesia over the next two years, in an attempt to grow its Southeast Asian footprint.

According to an article on the Inquirer, JFC’s CFO Ysmael Baysa said the group was hunting for partners to enter the two markets for the last couple of years and should make an entry in either of the markets in the upcoming years.

“So far we can’t find the opportunity to buy a local brand in those ASEAN markets but if we’re able to find a good one and if it’s for sale, then that will be a good opportunity for us,” Baysa was quoted saying.

The brand is growing rapidly in China, US and Philippines and the move in the SEA market could be “big [for the brand] because ASEAN has a very strong middle class,” Baysa added.

According to news outlet Interaksyon, Baysa also mentioned at the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP)-ING that JFC would probably use a strategy similar to that of franchising used in the Middle East and Vietnam.

“The advantage we have is we have been competing in other Asian markets for years so we have some familiarity with our neighbouring countries. We look forward to a faster growth in the future,” Baysa said.

The company had in the 1990s tried breaking into the Indonesia market but had to pull out due to the Asian financial crisis.

Jollibee currently has a presence in Brunei, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Vietnam in the region.

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