Japan Foods plans bonus issue after jump in profit

PHOTO: Japan Foods plans bonus issue after jump in profit

Japan Foods Holding, which operates restaurants like Ajisen Ramen and Botejyu that specialise in Japanese cuisine, is proposing a bonus issue after posting a 27.6 per cent jump to $3.8 million in interim net profit.

Revenue for the six months to Sept 30 was up 1.8 per cent at $31 million.

Thanks to better control of raw material costs arising from more efficient use of materials and cost savings from self-made noodles at its own production facility, gross profit margin gained 1.7 percentage points to 80.8 per cent.

The fatter margin was also partly due to currency gains from the appreciation of the Singapore dollar.

Japan Foods has a total of 39 restaurants and three other outlets located in various foodcourts in Singapore, as at Sept 30.

The latest addition to the portfolio is Menzo Butao, which made its debut in June at Marina Square Shopping Mall, offering more than 20 varieties of Hakata Tonkatsu Ramen in three soup bases.

While restaurants operating under the Ajisen Ramen brand continued to be the main revenue generator, contributing 52.6 per cent to total sales, others like Menya Musashi, Osaka Ohsho and Udon King also played a significant role in driving revenue growth during the period.

The Menya Musashi brand was the star performer in the group's stable of brands, almost doubling takings from $2.1 million to $4 million, said executive chairman and chief executive Takahashi Kenichi.

"Boosted by its creditable performance, we added two Menya Musashi restaurants at VivoCity and Bugis Junction in April and September respectively, bringing the total number of restaurants under the brand to six in Singapore," he said.

Earnings per share increased to 3.25 cents from 2.55 cents previously, while net asset value per share grew to 23.46 cents compared with 21.69 cents as at March 31.

The company declared an interim dividend of 1.1 cents a share, up from 0.9 cent in the same period last year.

Under the proposed bonus issue, Japan Foods will issue one new share for every two held by shareholders.

This will increase its share capital base to reflect the growth and expansion of the group's business, the company said.

Raising the number of shares in circulation is also intended to encourage more investors to trade in the shares and create a bigger shareholder base, it added.


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