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Wowprime to close two brand restaurants

2018/12/14 20:21:12

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) Wowprime Corp., one of Taiwan's leading restaurant chain operators, said Friday it will shelve two of its brand restaurants by the end of this year, expecting to book one-time losses of under NT$20 million (US$648,088) due to the business closures.

Wowprime, which owns the flagship Wang Steak house chain, said it is closing the Su Food light meal restaurant chain and the Ita Pasta & Bistro chain and the loss could drag down the company's earnings per share by about NT$0.2 for 2018.

The restaurant operator opened the Su Fu brand in 2010 and has four outlets: two in Taipei, one in Taichung and the other in Kaohsiung.

While ending the Su Fu brand, Wowprime said one outlet on Fuxing North Road in Taipei will be transformed into a new style restaurant and continue to serve customers.

The Ita Pasta & Bistro brand was set up in 2014 and has four outlets; two in Taipei, one in Hsinchu and the other in Taichung.

Wowprime said the operator will transfer employees from the affected stores to other outlets, and their seniority, welfare and rights will not be impacted.

Currently, Wowprime has more than 20 brand restaurants and operates 430 outlets in Taiwan and China.

Market analysts said Su Fu and Ita Pasta & Brito account for only a small fraction of Wowprime's total revenue, and the move to restructure its business is expected to help the company concentrate its efforts on stronger brands, which could improve operations.

In the first three quarters of this year, Wowprime had earnings per shares (EPS) of NT$3.92, behind the NT$5.21 recorded in the same period of last year.

For all of 2017, the company posted NT$6.01 in EPS compared with NT$4.01 in 2016.

In November, Wowprime Chairman Chen Cheng-hui (陳正輝) said the company plans to raise wages by more than 3 percent next year.

Chen said Wowprime will add two to three new brand restaurants in Taiwan and two in China in 2019, and expects to recruit an additional 1,500 workers in the year.

(By Jeffrey Wu and Frances Huang)