Jollibee to set foot in Europe

MANILA, Philippines – Fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corporation will finally set foot in Europe soon as it plans to open its first store in Italy.

Jollibee said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that its wholly owned unit Golden Plate Private Limited has formed a 75:25 joint venture partnership with Blackbird Holdings Private Limited to own and operate the first Jollibee store in Italy.

Both parties have committed to invest up to P53.5 million to the joint venture company to be incorporated in Singapore.

Jollibee will have full management control of the joint venture company and the operations of first store in Italy. (READ: Jollibee to continue stinging McDonald's despite labor issues)

"JFC’s strategy is still to tap a Territorial Franchisee for Italy with the capability to develop and expand the brand in the market. The joint venture partnership will facilitate the enter and the opening of its first store will create the desired market awareness for the Jollibee brand in the market,” the fast-food giant said

Formed in 2014, Blackbird is Singaporean firm and currently holds various investments in both Singapore and the Philippines in food and beverage, agriculture, and biotechnology sectors.

The company earlier said it was looking at Milan as the potential site for its first store in Italy. There more than 200,000 Filipinos living in Italy.

Jollibee has been planning to go to Europe given the growing population of overseas Filipinos and Filipino migrants in that region. 

The fast food company has been aggressively expanding overseas in line with its goal to generated 50% of its sales from abroad.

It has recently expanded in Canada and Oman. The company also earlier expressed plans to open stores in Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.

As of end February, Jollibee operates 620 stores overseas including China, Vietnam, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Singapore, Hong Kong, Oman, Bahrain and the United States.

At present, the group’s foreign business already account for 30% of its system wide sales.

In the Philippines, the fast-food chain operates 2,670 stores.

In 2016, Jollibee booked a net income of P6.14 billion, an increase of 24.6% from P4.93 billion recorded in 2015 after it opened a record number of stores in 2016. –