Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Express Catering to open first Starbucks outlet by February

Published:Friday | October 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Ian Dear, CEO of of Express Catering Limited.

Express Catering Limited, which runs a series of food outlets at the airport in Montego Bay, expects to make a lot more revenue when it opens a Starbucks cafe by February.

It comes as the food company announced that it doubled net profit for its first quarter, resulting in earnings per share of 0.051 US cents, compared with 0.022 in the 2016 quarter.

CEO Ian Dear said the first Starbucks cafe should be ready by the company's third quarter, which would be anywhere from December to February, since Express Catering's fiscal year ends in May.

He said work is already under way on the initiative, which will see three Starbucks locations being developed at the Sangster International Airport.

"The company expects substantial revenues from these additions," stated Dear in the preface to Express Catering's financial results.

The company collected US$3.8 million in revenue in the first three months of its financial year, up 10 per cent year-on-year. The increased revenue, along with the elimination of an administrative management fee, allowed Express to double its profit.

"This was due to the planned elimination of group-related charges," said Dear. Its administrative and operational expenses fell by US$314,000 relative to the 2016 quarter. Profit rose to US$834,450 from US$352,600.

Dear previously indicated that Express Catering would invest US$1.4 million to build the three Starbucks cafes at the airport. Currently, Express Catering operates more than 12 franchises at Sangster and holds the rights to operate Starbucks at that airport only.

The Margaritaville Group, which is also owned by Dear, is part of a joint-venture partnership with Adam Stewart of Sandals Resorts International that has the rights to develop Starbucks in Jamaica and a few other Caribbean markets. Starbucks operates thousands of stores globally under franchise arrangements.

Express Catering controls the food and beverage offering at Sangster Airport beyond the passenger check-in zone. It operates Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Starbucks, Quiznos, Dairy Queen, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, Domino's Pizza, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Wendy's, Cinnabon, Moe's South Western Grill, Island Deli, Viva Fresh Market Grab & Go, Cricket Sports Bar, Connections Bar, Air Margaritaville Arrivals Bar, Jamaican Bobsled CafÈ, The Groovy Grouper and The Bar.

The company, which listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in July, raised $490 million from an initial public offering of ordinary shares. It followed an earlier round of US$3.5 million raised in a preference offer in January to finance, in part, the Starbucks outlets at Sangster International.

Express Catering made net profit of US$1 million from revenue of US$14.2 million over 12 months ending May 2017.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com