Simbisa Brands to open more fast food outlets in Kenya in an expansion drive

KENYA – Simbisa Brands, Zimbabwe’s largest fast-food restaurant operator has announced plans to open more restaurant and fast-food outlets in Kenya to expand its presence and tame rivals in the country, Business Daily has reported.

The quick service and restaurant company operates Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, Bakers Inn and Creamy Inn in Kenya.

According to the firm, the move was based on the fact that its Kenya business had witnessed increased traffic with a positive outlook, thus expansion would foster continuous growth in a market where disposable income is rapidly rising.

“We have a major plan for growth in Kenya. We are looking at Kenya as a major market where we want to expedite our growth there,” said Warren Meares, Simbisa Brands managing director to Zimbabwe media.

“Zambia is also another good market but we feel we need to do a lot to grow that.”

Taking on international brands

The Africa-focused fast-foods business said last year it was setting its eyes on expanding into new African markets as it strengthens its muscle on the continent against McDonald’s and Burger King.

This is at the rapid invasion of American fast-food chains including Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Krispy Kreme, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, some of which have unveiled plans for yet more expansion on the continent.

Starbucks unveiled plan to launch more than 200 stores in South Africa by the end of 2016 and both Starbucks and McDonalds are yet to open restaurants in Kenya citing a weak supply chain.

American privately held fast food restaurant franchise, Subway unveiled intentions to increase its foothold in Kenya as it seeks more locations to set up additional restaurants.

Simbisa is gearing up for a larger market share by expanding presence in Africa where it operates in 20 countries among them Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana.

Kenya currently have the largest number of Simbisa restaurant outlets, 193 counters in Zimbabwe and 205 abroad.

In Kenya, Simbisa opened eight new outlets and closed four, bringing the total to 121 as at June 30 last year, Business Daily reports.

Investing in Africa

Its investment strategy is focused on especially Zimbabwe and Kenya and the group invested US$4.3 million for the expansion of its operations in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

For the year 2017, combined revenue for the regional operations (Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, DRC and Mauritius) increased by 10% to US$30.2 million.

The results were driven by a gratifying performance from their largest market, Kenya, and the contribution of expansion activities in Mauritius, said the company.

It posted a 26% net profit growth for the year ended 30 June 2017.

The firm is planning a secondary listing at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) junior market to raise capital for expansion and potential foreign acquisition.

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