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Figaro stays bullish despite growing competition

LISTED food and beverage retailer Figaro Coffee Group, Inc. (FCG) remains bullish on their growth prospects despite increasing competition in the retail coffee market, its top official said. 

“No. Not at all, because we have a different market,” FCG Chief Executive Officer Divine G. Cabuloy said at the sidelines of a recent briefing when asked if the company is affected by rising competition in the retail coffee sector.

Ms. Cabuloy said FCG remains optimistic about its market presence as it has expanded its product offerings under the Figaro Coffee brand.

“Before, we were more of coffee products. But now, we have also captured the young crowd market because Figaro Coffee right now is not just offering coffee products — we also have other products. We have pasta, sandwiches, and rice meals,” Ms. Cabuloy said.

Jollibee Foods Corp. recently announced that it is set to bring Singapore’s Common Man Coffee Roasters to the Philippines.

The brand’s first branch, set to open this year, will be located at the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati

Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo also opened on Oct. 13 its signature café Uniqlo Coffee in Glorietta 5, Makati City as part of expanding its business in the country.

For their part, FCG is eyeing to open 50 to 75 stores overall next year, with the investment for each store ranging from P8 to P13 million depending on its size, Ms. Cabuloy said.

Currently, FCG has 192 stores nationwide across its various food brands, made up of 116 Angel’s Pizza outlets, 60 Figaro Coffee stores, 10 Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine stores, and six Café Portofino establishments.    

“Per store, the investment is around P8 to P10 million. That includes the franchise package and the construction of the store. If the store has a second floor, the investment reaches P13 million,” Ms. Cabuloy said.

FCG Chief Operating Officer Michael T. Barret said their Angel’s Pizza and Figaro Coffee brands will be focused on expanding in Visayas and Mindanao. 

“For Angel’s Pizza, we are targeting Cebu, Tacloban, Leyte, and Samar in Visayas, while we are looking at Cagayan de Oro and Butuan in Mindanao,” Mr. Barret said. 

“In terms of expansion for Figaro, we are also focusing on Mindanao because there is a huge demand for coffee shops,” he added.

Currently, 70% of FCG stores across all brands are company-owned, while the remaining 30% are operated under franchises, he said, adding the company is hoping to bring back the ratio to 50% company-owned and 50% franchise stores.

FCG earlier reported that its net income rose by 133% to P462.6 million for its fiscal year ended June 30 from P198.2 million in the prior fiscal year.     

The company’s revenues jumped 75% to P4.28 billion from P2.44 billion and same-store sales climbed 6%.

Shares of FCG closed at 63 centavos each on Friday, down by one centavo or 1.56% from the previous trading session. — R.M.D. Ochave

Neil Banzuelo

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