First KFC outlet set to open in Myanmar next year

Yum! Brands will unveil the first KFC restaurant in Myanmar next year via a franchise awarded to Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.

"The announcement of the first KFC coming to Myanmar reflects our ongoing strategy of global expansion in emerging markets," KFC CEO Micky Pant said in a statement yesterday.

"We're excited to work with such a well-respected franchisee to bring the great taste of KFC to Myanmar, an important emerging Asian economy with a population of 50 million people."

KFC, one of the world's largest restaurant chains with US$23 billion in global sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 118 countries, is among the first few fast-food restaurants planning to enter the Myanmar market.

Listed on the Singapore Securities Exchange Trading Limited (SGX-ST), Yoma Strategic is a leading business corporation with real estate, agriculture, automotive and luxury tourism businesses in the country.

Together with its partner, the SPA Group, the group is taking a conglomerate approach to build a diversified portfolio of businesses in Myanmar. Yoma Strategic made its first foray into Myanmar's fast-moving consumer goods sector when it acquired a stake in Asia Beverages.

In 2013, Yoma Strategic also opened the first international department store, Parkson, in Myanmar.

Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic, said chicken was a staple protein in Myanmar and that the people recognise the KFC brand.

"KFC is a strong global brand that is in nearly every corner of the world and we are proud to be KFC's franchise partner to help fulfil its growth ambitions in Myanmar. Bringing KFC to Myanmar is an important step to achieving Yoma Strategic's goal in being a key player in the country's food and beverage sector," Pun said.

Both parties believe that Myanmar is one of the potentially sizeable consumer markets to emerge among developing economies.

With 50 million people and a growing middle class with disposable income, the country offers significant consumer opportunity for Yoma Strategic to grow KFC over the long term.

"Myanmar offers significant macro potential for an international quick service franchise with a growing consumer class that is forecast to grow from 2.5 million today to 19 million in 2030, potentially tripling consumer spending by more than threefold. In a regional context, Myanmar should experience a strong growth trajectory," Pun added.

"The consumer and retail sector is key to Yoma Strategic's strategy to capture the rapid increase in discretionary consumer spending in the country and KFC is the cornerstone of our business platform in this space."

Yum! owns several restaurant brands, namely KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.