Yummier profits boost dividend payout at Japan Foods

Japan Foods Holdings has posted a 72.3 per cent rise in net profit to $6.4 million.

Revenue for the year ended March 31 was up 9.3 per cent at $61.3 million.

Gross profit margin increased by 1.8 points to 80.1 per cent due to better control of raw material costs, elimination of non-performing brands and the rise in the Singapore dollar.

Its mainstay restaurant chain, Ajisen Ramen, chalked up an increase in revenue of $2.5 million.

This was mainly attributable to the following:

(a) contribution of revenue from the new restaurant located at Ang Mo Kio Hub which commenced operations in July 2012;

(b) the full year contribution of revenue from the restaurant located at Changi City Point which commenced operations in November 2011, and

(c) net increase in sales from existing restaurants.

This was partially offset by the closure of a restaurant at City Square Mall in September 2012.

The group's restaurants operating under other brands, such as Fruit Paradise, Kazokutei and Menya Musashi, contributed a net increase of $2.7 million in revenue.

Earnings per share firmed to 5.55 cents from 3.22 cents previously while net asset value per share rose by 3.96 cents to 21.69 cents.

On its prospects, Japan Foods expects the operating environment in the local food and beverage industry to continue to be very challenging in the next 12 months due to stiff competition, tight labour supply and rising labour and rental costs.

A final payout totalling 1.6 cents a share was proposed, up from 0.7 cent last year.