Yoma: ‘Severe impact’ on operations likely from Myanmar Covid restrictions

Myanmar restaurant chain YKKO, known for its “Kyay-Oh" rice noodle dish. In February 2019, Yoma Strategic agreed to acquire a 65 percent stake in YKKO. Credit: Yoma F&BMyanmar restaurant chain YKKO, known for its “Kyay-Oh" rice noodle dish. In February 2019, Yoma Strategic agreed to acquire a 65 percent stake in YKKO. Credit: Yoma F&B

Yoma Strategic said Wednesday Myanmar’s restrictions in response to a third wave of the Covid-19 virus were expected to have a “severe impact” on its businesses, especially the food and beverage and motor units.

Myanmar has declared public holidays from 17 July to 15 August, with stay-at-home orders in 86 townships to prevent the spread of the virus; only healthcare facilities, banks and shops selling essentials, medicines and medical supplies are allowed to remain open, while F&B establishments can only open for takeaway and delivery, Yoma said in a filing to SGX.

“While essential services, including banking operations have resumed since the end of April, economic activities continue to be constrained by the short supply of cash, the limited access to banking services and the limited availability of credit,” Yoma said.

Yoma’s cautious outlook followed reporting “encouraging growth” in the fiscal third quarter on stronger property sales even as the overall environment in Myanmar was “challenging.”

For the April-to-June quarter, Yoma reported group revenue rose 2.1 percent on-year to US$19.6 million, with revenue from Yoma Land up 30.9 percent at US$8.9 million.

“The strong growth in revenue from real estate development in 3M-June 2021 was driven by the start of construction of Star Villas at StarCity since the beginning of the current financial year and new land sales at Pun Hlaing Estate. In addition, the group continued to see healthy conversion rates of bookings to sales at both Star Villas and City Loft @ StarCity,” Yoma said.

Yoma F&B closures

Yoma F&B’s revenue declined 6.4 percent on-year to US$4.4 million, the filing said, adding around 25 percent of its restaurants may be closed temporarily or permanently if they can no longer operate profitably. In May, Yoma F&B had said it might close a third of the restaurants, but the number has been revised downward based on a total of 91 outlets.

The segment will streamline to focus on two main brands, KFC and YKKO, with Little Sheep Hot Pot closing from 1 July and Auntie Anne’s ceasing operations by end-August, the filing said.

Revenue from Yoma Financial Services fell 10.5 percent on-year to US$1.9 million during the period; Yoma Motors posted a 23.2 percent on-year drop in revenue to US$4.3 million.

Read more about the fiscal third quarter business update.