Lester Yu’s Balai ni Fruitas sees profit jump on bakery expansion


Businessman Lester Yu’s Balai ni Fruitas Inc. saw profits soar in the first nine months of the year amid the aggressive expansion of its flagship bakery, Balai Pandesal.

From January to September, net income income reached P23.2 million, up 900 percent, while revenues jumped 164 percent to P234.1 million, a stock exchange filing on Monday showed.

Balai, which went public last June via a P204-million initial public offering (IPO), said revenues were bolstered by the opening of new stores and the addition of distribution channels for its bread business.

Balai Pandesal now has 43 outlets after opening seven new stores in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. It also operates 39 Buko Ni Fruitas stores and nine Fruitas House of Desserts stores.

Moreover, Balai Pandesal products have been made available in more than 20 community stores within the Fruits Holdings network, which Yu also owns.

“We have significantly grown the Balai Pandesal brand in just over a year since our acquisition.

We aim to make Balai Pandesal the leading mid-priced community bakery in the country,” Yu, who is Balai’s CEO, said in a statement on Monday.

The IPO has provided the company sufficient resources to further accelerate expansion and grow our capacity and product offerings. We are optimistic with the last quarter of the year and we hope to conclude the year on a high note by encouraging our customers to have Balai products as part of their festivities,” he added.

Meanwhile, the company’s expansion helped blunt a decline in margins to 50.5 percent from 51.5 percent amid cost challenges.

“The company executed strategic price adjustments and executed tactical purchasing initiatives to successfully manage increasing raw material prices,” Balai noted in the statement.

Balai is a subsidiary of Fruitas Holdings, which owns Sabroso Lechon and De Original Jamaican Pattie Shop and Juice Bar among other food concepts. The company earlier revealed a target to grow Balai Pandesal to 200 branches by 2026.

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