KUALA LUMPUR: Berjaya Food Bhd's efforts to improve its business fundamentals have taken flight given its commendable earnings growth over the last two years.
In its recent fourth quarter results, the food and beverage chain operator posted earnings of RM40.8mil, which was a significant increase from RM4mil in the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to RHB Research, Berjaya Food's results beat expectations on the back of the successful execution of effective business strategies across its brands and restored consumer confidence post-pandemic, which all led to robust same store sales growth.
"While 4QFY22’s robust performance can be partly attributed to the pent-up demand for seasonal factors, we believe that efforts taken by management in the past two years to solidify its business fundamentals have also contributed greatly to BFD’s commendable growth in recent quarters," it said in a recent report.
RHB attributed the success to Berjaya Food's strategy of increasing the average selling prices through the promotion of seasonal beverages and upsizing of offerings, which has been effective in sustaining margins.,
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It noted that Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) remained profitable in 4QFY22, while its menu revamp and strategic store closures are indicative of profitability being sustained.
Meanwhile, Berjaya Food is continuing to expand with plans to open an additional 35 to 40 Starbucks outlets and four to six KKR stores in FY23.
"40-45% of the Starbucks outlets will be in the drive-through format, which should bode well for the group as we gather that sales performance for this store format has been strong (at c.30% of total Starbucks revenue).
"The brand’s already entrenched network also points to the likelihood that expansions will be into less-urban areas, which could contribute to sustainable improvement in sales moving forward," it added.
RHB, which has a "buy" call, kept its earnings forecasts unchanged and target price at RM4.80 in anticipation of a normalisation in earnings in FY23 as it believes earnings have peaked.