‘Experience of the Future’ stores next big thing – Westlife Development

‘Experience of the Future’ stores next big thing – Westlife Development

Update on the Indian Equity Market:

On Thursday, NIFTY50 ended in the green for the 3rd straight session at 16,595 (+1.5%). The trends for five state assembly elections may have aided the sentiment as the ruling BJP led in the majority of the seats in India’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh.

Among the sectoral indices, FMCG (+3.0%), PSU BANK (+2.3%), and METAL (+2.3%) led the gainers while IT (-0.1%) was the only sectoral index that closed in the red. Among the NIFTY50 stocks, HINDUNILVR (+5.2%), TATASTEEL (+4.3%), and GRASIM (+4.1%) led the gainers while COALINDIA (-3.8%), TECHM (-1.5%), and DRREDDY (-1.2%) led the losers.

Excerpts of an interview with Mr. Amit Jatia, Vice Chairman, Westlife Development published in Financial Express on 10th March 2022:

  • India has an inflationary tendency, so cutting costs is a part of the Company’s DNA. Vice-Chairman believes sales growth should be accompanied by a 100-250bps cost reduction YoY to survive.
  • If a certain cost increased, the company finds a reduction in some other avenue to maintain the balance. He doesn’t believe this policy will change in the next three to five years.
  • He believes inflation is here to stay. The company takes a 3-5% price hike every year and CY22 will not be any different.
  • Currently, there are a total of 316 McDonald’s outlets out of which 248 have McCafe inside them, which are proper coffee shops.
  • The company is working on accelerating the expansion of its network and plans to have over 500 stores in the next 3-5 years. This will require an investment of over Rs 8bn.
  • The expansion strategy will also be aligned to the company’s omnichannel strategy with a robust portfolio of ‘experience of the future’ (EOTF) stores, drive-throughs, and stores with separate take-out windows. The company will be doubling its drive-throughs within India. Menu innovation, omnichannel presence, and network expansion will continue to be the key levers for Westlife.
  • The EOTF stores are a big thing now, as the company is trying to change the way the QSR industry will operate in the future.
  • There are no favorites when one talks about the McDonald’s brand. Offerings like McAloo Tikki, McChicken, McSpicy, McVeggie are all consumer favourites, and the company is not dependent on one product.
  • The eating behaviour of customers has changed tremendously. Earlier, consumers were focused on snacking when eating out at a QSR, now they are looking at a complete meal. As a result, the Company’s focus has shifted towards larger opportunities which are meals.
  • In the last 2 years, the company has pivoted to become an omnichannel brand wherein the digital channels are accelerated at a phenomenal rate for McDonald’s. Its drive-through, contact-less take-away, on-the-go service ensured continuity of operations. Also, as stores were reopened delivery continued to grow. So, both in-store dining and delivery have provided an impetus to revenue and profitability growth. In 3QFY22, as most of the dine-in restrictions were eased, revenue from convenience channels grew 55% YoY with McDelivery reporting its highest ever revenue so far.
  • The new range of burgers along with the Fried Chicken platform and McCafe helped accelerate the average unit volume growth by 30% without any significant capex investment.

Asset Multiplier Comments

  • With increased focus on hygiene due to the pandemic, customers’ preference has shifted towards branded products. We believe McDonald’s (Westlife Development) is well-placed to benefit from this opportunity due to its brand recall, strong network, and variety of products.
  • With the new launches such as Fried chicken, the company is evolving from being just a burger company and providing tough competition to its peers.
  • With the entry into adjacent spaces such as Gourmet burgers and Fried chicken without incremental capex, the company will be able to improve its margins and provide better returns to shareholders.

Consensus Estimate: (Source: Marketscreener website)

  • The closing price of Westlife Development was ₹ 478 /- as of 10-March-2022. It traded at 76x/ 52x the consensus earnings estimate of ₹ 6.3/9.2 for FY23E/FY24E respectively.
  • The consensus target price of ₹ 629/- implies a P/E multiple of 68x on FY24E EPS estimate of ₹ 9.2/-

Disclaimer: “The views expressed are for information purposes only. The information provided herein should not be considered as investment advice or research recommendation. The users should rely on their own research and analysis and should consult their own investment advisors to determine the merit, risks, and suitability of the information provided.”

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