Japan Foods Q4 profit up 67.8% to $938,000 as diners slurp up ramen, new brands

An Ajisen Ramen outlet. Japan Foods has declared a final cash dividend of 1.30 Singapore cents per share, up from a year-ago payout of 1.25 Singapore cent.
An Ajisen Ramen outlet. Japan Foods has declared a final cash dividend of 1.30 Singapore cents per share, up from a year-ago payout of 1.25 Singapore cent.PHOTO: AJISEN RAMEN

SINGAPORE - Japan Foods Holding's net profit rose 67.8 per cent to $938,000 for its fiscal fourth quarter amid better sales from its Menya Musashi ramen restaurants and new brands.

On a per-share basis, profit for the three months ended March 31 increased to 0.54 Singapore cent from 0.32 Singapore cent a year earlier, the operator of Japanese-themed restaurants said on Thursday before the market opened. Japan Foods has declared a final cash dividend of 1.30 Singapore cents per share, up from a year-ago payout of 1.25 Singapore cent.

For the full year ended March, net profit grew 24 per cent to $5.8 million, or 3.33 Singapore cents per share.

Revenue increased 6.5 per cent to $16.2 million for the fourth fiscal quarter. That increase was partly attributable to a $0.8 million revenue growth from the Menya Musashi brand as Japan Foods converted two existing restaurants under other brands to Menya Musashi outlets and opened a new restaurant at the Northpoint City mall in Singapore. One Menya Musashi restaurant was, however, converted to an Ajisen Ramen outlet in Bedok Mall in March 2017.

Japan Foods also recorded $1.6 million of additional revenue for the fourth quarter from new restaurants operating under the Shitamachi Tendon Akimitsu and Curry is Drink brands. However, restaurants under the New ManLee Bak Kut Teh, Kazokutei, Fruit Paradise, Boteyju, Hanamidori and Dutch Baby Cafe brands saw revenue fall by $0.9 million during the period amid closures and lower same-store sales.

Looking ahead, Japan Foods said that it was "cautiously optimistic" despite expected challenging conditions in the next 12 months. The group will continue to seek to expand in South-east Asia and Japan through joint ventures, acquisitions and sub-franchising of brands, the company said.