Old Chang Kee Ltd (SGX:5ML) – Singapore’s Very Own Fast-Food Chain
Old Chang Kee’s history dated far back to 1956 when it began as a small stall in a coffee shop outside the former Rex cinema along McKenzie Road.
In 1986, the original owner of Old Chang Kee (SGX: 5ML), Mr Chang decided to retire from the curry puff business and decided to return to China. Current Executive Chairman, Mr Han Kee Juan thus made an entrepreneurial move, trading his then comfortable MNC job for setting up Old Chang Kee Ltd (OCK).
Since Old Chang Kee’s listing on the Singapore Exchange Catalist Board in 2008, the Group has grown to a company with total revenue of close to S$70 million, with its signature curry puff products remaining the major contributor to its top line which accounted for roughly 31% in FY2013. The Group currently has a wide portfolio of different brands including Take 5!, Pie Kia and Curry Times. Old Chang Kee operated a total of 80 outlets as at March 2014, increased from 58 outlets as at end of 2007.
Despite Old Chang Kee’s failed expansion into China since its IPO, the Group continued to retain its strong presence in Singapore, growing its net asset value from S$0.21/share in FY2009 to S$0.26/share in FY2014. The Group also commands a relatively strong ROE with a 5-year average of 18% between FY2009-FY2014. However, similar to other Food & Beverages (F&B) companies, Old Chang Kee faces stiff competition coupled with a high operating leverage, causing the Group to have a low net profit margin with a range of 5% to 9% over the past 5 years. That said, OCK does not require much borrowings to run its business.
Value in Action
Mr Han Kee Juan has established Old Chang Kee as a well-known fast food brand, serving from its popular curry puffs to traditional signature finger foods. Despite the Group’s failed expansion into China, OCK still has a strong presence in Singapore a midst stiff competition within the F&B industry.
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Hi Paul, thanks for following our articles and the fair points made 🙂
OCK’s revenue has grown from S$33.8 million in 2006 to S$68.9 million in 2014, with its gross profit margin (GPM) remained relatively stable if not improving from 59.1% to 62.2% over the same period. I agree with you, based on observation that Singaporeans are getting more health conscious but I don’t think that would be the key factor for a slowdown in growth if you would refer to the growing revenue and GPM. Being health conscious would probably would not affect the businesses of any other F&B outlets as well; case in point is the growing international fast food scene and still popular local hawker food fares which are not anywhere healthier than fried finger foods.
OCK has built a pretty strong brand since its inception and still able to pass on its costs to consumers despite simply selling curry puffs and fried finger foods. The problem I see here is that Singapore has become so cosmopolitan one can always see new food innovation and trends coming into the island city. Competing with new and current players requires operators to constantly innovate since there is little customer captivity when it comes to food (very similar to clothing and apparels). With a high fixed cost and a relatively fragmented industry leaves operators (such as OCK) having a strong competition to deal with.
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personally i wld avoid ock. look at its earnings and dividends. they look erratic to me. it does have some brand name and it’s rather well known in singapore. but it sells unhealthy deep fried food. with people become more health conscious, in fact, its business might grow to a certain extent then plateau.
moreover, though its nav is growing, its price is severa multiples of |its book. there is little safety margin at such prices.