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Delivery, curbside services help push Prestige Holdings sales

Prestige Holdings Limited Chairman Christian E Mouttet shared that delivery, drive-thru, and curbside channels have helped to boost the restaurant management company’s sales even as COVID-19-related restrictions have impacted on business.

For the nine months ending August 31, 2020, Prestige Holdings recorded a 20 per cent drop in sales when compared to TT$830.5 million earned in the same period last year.

A KFC fast-food outlet in Port of Spain, Trinidad

According to Mouttet, “The closure of our restaurants for dining during the third quarter, brought about by the Government’s measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, has weighed on our sales and profitability.”

While noting that improved sales and cost-saving measures contributed to the improved performance of the company, the chairman pointed out that “… we continue to be encouraged by the growth in the delivery, drive-thru and curbside channels of our restaurants, which have shown significant growth and have been particularly important to our business in the past two months when our dining channel was closed.

Chairman of Prestige Holdings Limited Christian E Mouttet (Photo: PHL)

As part of its cost-saving efforts, the restaurant management company reduced expenses by 13.9 per cent to TT$151.4 million and administrative expenses by 18.7 per cent to TT$50.9 million. For the period ended August 31, 2019, operating and administrative expenses were TT$175.9 million and TT$62.5 million respectively.

Up to the end of the period, Prestige Holdings 129 restaurants bearing the brands of KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Subway and Starbucks in Trinidad and Tobago, with one being a TGI Fridays in Jamaica. For the third quarter, the company had no new restaurant openings, renovations, or relocations.

(Photo: Corporate Governance Conference 2019)

“We expect that when all restrictions are eventually removed and market conditions return to normal, these channel options will continue to be significant contributors to our business across all brands,” Mouttet disclosed.

However, given the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic, and the measures that the Trinidad and Tobago Government has taken to control it, the chairman steered clear of providing an “accurate” outlook for the final quarter of the financial year. Notwithstanding, Mouttet expects a “positive” performance.

Acknowledging that COVID-19 has introduced challenges and opportunities to the fast-food industry, Mouttet said that the company, in the meantime, maintains a strong balance sheet with sufficient cash reserves and a manageable debt-equity ratio.

For the nine-month period the company’s total assets grew by 45 per cent to reach TT$759 million.