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昔日高增长势头不再,百胜中国何去何从?

财富中文网 2016年11月06日

百胜中国本周三在纽交所上市,公司前景面临较大不确定性。

百胜中国的首席执行官潘伟奇近日向路透社表示,随着百胜在中国国内的竞争对手日益强大,加之市场波动性的加剧,刚从美国母公司剥离的百胜中国要想实现销售额的再次崛起,恐怕还有一场硬仗要打。

本周二,百胜中国正式在纽交所挂牌。自2012年以来,百胜中国旗下的肯德基、必胜客等知名洋快餐品牌在中国大陆已经新开张了1500多家店面,然而其收益却并未随着规模的扩张而上涨。百胜中国希望在2017年恢复强势增长势头,不过潘伟奇也表示,中国市场的走向目前很难解读。

潘伟奇在百胜中国的上海办公室里表示:“归功于我们的商业模式,我们已经实现了较高的个位数增长率,然而我们没法真正地预测明年会怎么样,因为中国的整体形势就是这样。你肯定会增长,但道路不一定总是平坦的。”

在2012年以前,百胜的中国业务平均每年都以20%以上高速增长。但2012年却是一个分水岭,此后百胜中国接连遭遇了食品安全危机、经济增长降速、消费者口味改变和竞争对手变强等难题。

很多送餐APP为了吸引用户而大打折扣,以及国内部分城市围绕南海问题引发的“抵制肯德基”事件,也是使百胜中国销量受挫的原因之一。

潘伟奇表示,百胜中国从百胜集团总部的剥离,并不意味着百胜中国会脱离美式快餐文化的“根”——虽然必胜客早已开始供应榴莲披萨,肯德基也推出了好几款很流行的中式粥品作为早餐。

潘伟奇认为:“作为一个美国品牌,既有其优势,也有其风险……中国人民总体上喜爱美国,但他们不一定认同美国的外交政策。”

潘伟奇还指出,最近,百胜中国还引入了春华资本和阿里集团旗下的蚂蚁金服的投资,中资伙伴入股百胜后,也将有助于百胜中国对中国的外汇、税收政策以及房地产市场产生更好的了解。

缓慢而稳健

潘伟奇表示,百胜中国将把重点放在直营店而非加盟店的建设上,以实现收益的最大化以及牢牢把握食品安全。在美国,百胜旗下的绝大多数门店都是加盟的。

“我觉得中国的特许经营体系还处于非常早期的阶段,仍然是一个非常新生的事物。在美国,有些人甚至已经拥有25年的特许经营经验了……他们知道整套东西怎样操作。”潘伟奇还称,放松对旗下门店的控制将产生“巨大的风险”。

“接下来的几年里,在绝大多数情况下,我们会打造自己的直营店。”

百胜中国计划每年新铺设600家门店,长期计划是在中国市场上运营20,000家门店。不过潘伟奇也表示,目前公司重点是要提高现有7,300家门店的收益率——即便这意味着品牌的扩张速度会稍有减缓。

“今年我们拿出了1.5亿美元左右的资金,这笔钱没有用来开新店,而是用来翻新现有门店。”如安装电子支付系统、高效的LED照明系统以及电子菜单等等。

潘伟奇还表示,百胜中国有可能将吸引更多的亚洲投资者,而百胜品牌在美国的传统投资群体面对较高的风险则有可能持谨慎态度。不过投资百胜中国也有一个好处,那就是中国的政治环境相比世界其他国家较为稳定。

潘伟奇表示:“看看美国吧,美国还有一周就要大选了,没人知道将会发生什么——这是最大的风险。而至少我们在这里还很稳定。”(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Yum China Holdings, newly hived off from its U.S. fast food giant parent, faces a tricky battle to revive sales growth in the country, chief executive Micky Pant told Reuters, given the strength of its local rivals and a volatile market.

The firm, which debuted on the New York stock exchange on Tuesday, has seen China revenues at its KFC, Pizza Hut, and other outlets flatline since 2012 even as it has opened over 1,500 new stores. It is aiming for stronger growth in 2017, though Pant said China was hard to read.

“We’ve guided to high single-digit revenue growth as our business model, but we can’t really predict year-on-year, that’s the whole point in China. You’ll go up, but the path is not always straight,” Pant said at the firm’s Shanghai offices.

As part of Yum Brands, the China unit saw stellar sales growth of over 20% each year until 2012. Since then, it has struggled with food safety scares, slower economic growth, changing consumer tastes, and stronger rivals.

Yum Brands has also pointed towards food delivery apps luring diners with cut-price deals and recent U.S.-China tensions over the South China Sea triggering boycotts of its stores.

Pant said that the spin-off of the China unit would not, however, mark a shift away from Yum’s American roots any further than it has done already—its brands offer Durian pizzas and popular Asian breakfast porridge congee.

“Being an American brand has upside and it has some risks… People in general love America, but they might have differences with American foreign policy,” said Pant.

A recent investment, though, by Primavera Capital and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd affiliate Ant Financial Services Group would bring extra local nous with foreign exchange, local taxes and understanding the real estate market, he added.

Slow and Steady

Pant said Yum China will focus on building its own stores rather than via franchise partners in order to maximize returns and keep a strong grip on food safety. In the United States the vast majority of Yum stores are franchised.

“I think the franchise system in China is very nascent, it’s very new. In the U.S. you can go to people with franchise experience of 25 years… They know the whole deal,” said Pant, adding that letting go of control could be a “huge risk.”

“In the vast, vast majority (of cases), for the next several years, we will be building our own stores.”

Yum China aims to build 600 new stores each year with long-term potential for 20,000 outlets in the market. However, Pant said the focus for now would be squeezing more out of its existing 7,300 stores—even if this meant slower expansion.

“We took about $150 million of capital this year and transferred it, instead of building new units, to refurbishing our existing stores,” he said. This has included installing cashless payment systems, efficient LED lighting and digital menus.

Pant added Yum China was likely to attract more investors from Asia, while the traditional U.S. investor base for Yum Brands might be more cautious about the higher risks. One positive, though, was China’s stable political environment compared with other parts of the world.

“Look at the United States. They’ve got an election coming up in a week and no one knows what’s going to happen—that’s the biggest risk of all. At least we have stability here,” he said.

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