Singapore Myanmar Investco (SMI) announced on Monday that it has secured an exclusive deal to set up and develop The Coffee Bean &Tea Leaf (CBTL) brand in Myanmar, expanding its arrangement with the coffee chain.
The move comes amid rising competition as Myanmar residents, particularly in Yangon, move up in to the middle-class bracket. Besides CBTL, international coffee franchise Gloria Jeans Coffees also has an airport and downtown presence, as has local chain Coffee Circles. Meanwhile, dozens of independent cafes have opened across Yangon
SMI already operates two outlets within Yangon International Airport and a third outlet at the domestic terminal. Under the agreement, SMI will expand the CBTL brand beyond the airport and across Myanmar, with the first CBTL outlet opening outside of the airport scheduled for the first quarter of 2018.
The company has also signed a franchise agreement to develop, manage and operate the Singapore Chinese restaurant chain Crystal Jade at the airport. It operates another outlet at the Junction City Shopping Mall in downtown Yangon.
SMI also has the exclusive right to develop, manage and operate IPPUDO ramen restaurants in Myanmar for a period of five years, with the option to extend it for another three years. The first IPPUDO restaurant opened in Junction City last year.
In Myanmar, the company is also developing a duty free retail outlet at the airport. It also has a master franchise agreement with Europcar, a leading European car rental company, to provide car rental and limousine services in the country.
For the six months ended September 30, 2017, SMI recorded revenues amounting to $11.6 million, which is up 21 percent from the year before, owing to improving sales at its airport duty free outlet. However, the company nearly doubled its losses, which stood at $4.2 million, for the period, owing to higher costs.
SMI is one of three Myanmar-focused companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. The other two companies are Yoma Strategic Holdings and Memories Group, which are both controlled by local tycoon Mr Serge Pun.
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