Jumbo Group to fund expansion via IPO

Restaurant chain plans to open at least four new outlets in S'pore, China in next two years

Jumbo Seafood restaurant in East Coast Park (above). The group was started in 1987 and has since opened more outlets in Singapore and China and bought a majority stake in Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh Investments. It has 14 F&B outlets here and two in China, under five restaurant brands. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Home-grown restaurant chain Jumbo Group - famed for its signature chilli crab - aims to expand its regional presence using proceeds from an upcoming public offer.

Jumbo yesterday lodged its preliminary prospectus to list on the Singapore Exchange.

Headed by Mr Ang Kiam Meng, 53, chief executive and executive chairman, Jumbo intends to expand the business through acquisitions, joint ventures or strategic alliances using the initial public offering (IPO) proceeds.

In its prospectus, Jumbo said it intends to open at least four new outlets both here and in China over the next two years.

"We intend to continually introduce fresh and innovative dining concepts ranging from high-end fine dining to casual dining for this purpose," it said.

The group, with 728 full-time employees as of March, also plans to acquire new premises for its corporate headquarters, central kitchen, and research and development kitchen.

These facilities are currently located in various units in Eunos Technolink industrial complex.

Controlling shareholder Ang Hon Nam, father of the CEO, founded Jumbo Seafood Restaurant in 1987 at East Coast Seafood Centre.

Spurred by the success of its chilli and pepper crab dishes, the restaurant opened four outlets, in Riverside Point, The Riverwalk, NSRCC Safra in Changi and Dempsey Hill, between 2002 and 2008.

To further expand its range of food and beverage offerings, the group bought a majority stake in Ng Ah Sio Investments, which operates the popular, well-established Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh restaurant in Rangoon Road, among others.

The same year, it expanded the Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh business by establishing a second Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh outlet in one of Singapore's two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands. In 2013, it set up its first Jumbo Seafood outlet in Shanghai.

The group has a total of 14 food and beverage outlets here and two outlets in China, under five restaurant brands. It also provides catering services and sells packaged sauces and spice mixes for dishes like its chilli crab.

The group also manages a Singapore Seafood Republic outlet and a Yoshimaru Ramen Bar outlet here that are effectively owned by its associated companies. It has investments in Singapore Seafood Republic and is paid licensing fees in relation to four such outlets in Japan through its associated company.

In the last financial year, the group's revenue rose by more than 28 per cent from $87.66 million to $112.4 million.

In the first half of this year, revenue was up by 11.4 per cent to $62.17 million from the same period last year. Net profit rose from $6.59 million to $11.52 million from 2012 to last year.

But for the first six months of this year, net profit dipped about 11 per cent to $5.56 million over the same period last year.

Jumbo Group has declared and paid dividends of $1.4 million, $1.9 million, $ 1.5 million and $1 million in 2012, 2013, last year and the first half of this year respectively.

It currently does not have a fixed dividend policy.

However, its directors intend to recommend and distribute dividends of not less than 30 per cent of the net profits for the next two financial years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2015, with the headline Jumbo Group to fund expansion via IPO. Subscribe