Fruitas Holdings ramping up store expansion

MANILA — Food and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas Holdings Inc., which is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), is expanding its footprint as it plans to have up to 750 new stores in the next three years, amid strong consumer spending and vibrant economy.

Fruitas Holdings chief financial adviser Calvin Chua said the company will use PHP586 million out of about PHP1-billion net proceeds from the IPO for its store network expansion and improvement of existing stores.

Chua said they aimed to increase the number of stores across the country by 150 to 250 annually until 2022.

“In terms of prospects, all the factors are still there –growing middle class, rapid urbanization. Last year, our combined VisMin (Visayas, Mindanao) sales was 150 percent higher than 2017. This year, we think it will be broad-based, it could be more spread across the whole country… The economy is really vibrant, so we think growth prospects are very good for us,” he told reporters Tuesday.

As of June 2019, Fruitas had 949 stores, 774 of which were owned and 175 were franchised. The company targets to hit its 1,000th store mark by the end of 2019.

It ended first half 2019 with PHP942 million in revenues, up 30 percent over the first half of 2018.

“Apart from that, the other avenues of growth would be, we also allocated 15 percent of our net proceeds, about PHP150 million, for potential acquisitions and the introduction of new concepts. We also intend to diversify (our) distribution channels,” he added.

Chua particularly cited the lechon delivery through app and the revival of its coffee kiosks. Fruitas acquired Sabroso Lechon in 2018.

He said the company is also banking on their partnerships with Grabfood and on delivery of fresh coconut water boosting its sales.

“In terms of the acquisitions and the introduction of new concepts, we are casting a wide net. In terms of targets, we are looking at food service in general. We are not limiting ourselves to food and beverage kiosks,” he added.

Chua said they are also looking to establish two more food parks at a cost of PHP50 million –one each in Metro Manila and Luzon– up to 2021.

Fruitas operates food parks in Quezon City–Uno Cinquenta in Maginhawa Street and Le Village, The Lifestyle Park in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue.

“A number, at least a couple of our brands have grown through our food parks. Initially placed in our food parks, then we open in Metro Manila, then we open provincially. That’s a sort of roadmap for some of our new brands,” Chua noted.

Fruitas has now over 20 brands in its portfolio such as Fruitas, Juice Avenue, Buko Loco, and de Original Jamaican Pattie and Juice Bar.

Chua said the remaining PHP50 million it targets to raise from an IPO will be earmarked for commissary expansion while the PHP150 million for debt repayment.

Fruitas Holdings planned to offer up to 602 million common shares at a maximum price of PHP1.99 each to raise as much as PHP1.2 billion from an IPO targeted this November. Leslie Gatpolintan/PNA-