Jumbo Seafood Group's China sales slide 26 percent

The exterior of a Jumbo Seafood restaurant in Singapore
A Jumbo Seafood restaurant in Singapore | Photo courtesy of idhamSupriyanto/Shutterstock
2 Min

Jumbo Seafood Group’s revenue from its mainland China operations fell 26.2 percent year over year in the six months ending 31 March after closing its Jumbo Seafood outlet in Xi’an in November 2023.

Overall, the upmarket seafood dining chain’s revenue rose 13 percent in the period, which it partly credited to stronger trading conditions in its home market; Singapore introduced visa-free access for Chinese tourists in February 2024.

Jumbo, which has 46 outlets across 14 Asian cities, credited the “rebound of business and social events, along with "inbound tourism” in Singapore for the results. Yet, it was disappointed with its Chinese performance, where it has placed much focus for growth over the past decade.

Jumbo said in a note to investors that its Chinese restaurants “are facing ongoing challenges attributed to a weak economy, largely influenced by the struggles within the real estate industry.”

To address the challenges, the group said it will undertake “strategic measures to optimize operations and enhance efficiency in line with prevailing market conditions.”

Despite a pivot to Southeast Asia during the Covid pandemic, China is central to growth plans at Jumbo, which has outlets in Beijing, including a a 229-seat restaurant at the Universal Beijing Resort; Fuzhou; and Shanghai.

Chinese consumers appear to have turned to lower-cost, casual dining chains like Jiumaojiu International Holdings-operated Tai Er, which is planning to open 100 new outlets this year, having opened 134 last year. Tai Er specializes in grilled fish – pangasius and tilapia, mostly – and soups, and its success has spawned a wave of copycat competitor brands serving low-priced dishes.

Revenue from Tai Er restaurants jumped 44 percent year over year to CNY 4.47 billion (USD 625 million, EUR 581 million) for the year ended 31 December 2023. Overall Jiumaojiu group profits in 2023 soared 763 percent to CNY 480 million (USD 67.2 million, EUR 62.4 million).

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