Premier Capital plc, the Maltese-owned Developmental Licencee for McDonald’s in six European markets, has posted a pre-tax profit of €28 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, up from €23 million in 2018.
Last year, the group registered a 16.2% increase in turnover to realise revenue of €341 million. Thanks to its team of more than 8,800 people in 156 restaurants in Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania, Premier Capital served 131 million customers last year, 11 million more than in 2018, yet again setting a new guest count record for the group.
All markets reported significant and even accelerated growth, with Greece registering the highest advancement on 2018 with 23.4%, followed by Romania (18.7%), Latvia (12.2%), Lithuania (10.1%), Estonia (8.2%), and Malta (7.6%). Premier Capital opened 12 new restaurants last year: seven in Romania, one in Lithuania, one in Latvia and three in Greece. Two restaurants were closed across the network. A further 32 restaurants were upgraded to accommodate McDonald’s newest service and digital platforms allowing for the roll out of table service and self-ordering kiosks, bringing the total of converted restaurants to 97. By the end of 2019, a total of 87 restaurants had deployed McDelivery.
The outlook for 2020 has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations have been scaled back in compliance with measures implemented by local health authorities over the past few weeks. Some restaurants have been closed but most others continue to serve customers with an even greater focus on convenience through take away, McDrive and McDelivery. Stringent cost containment measures are in place, there is constant re-budgeting and review, and capital expenditure has largely been put on hold. At the beginning of 2020, the group had originally projected to open 12 new restaurants in 2020. This for now has been revised to five.
“The excellent results for 2019 stem from our teams outperforming their plans as they continued to pursue market-specific strategies to grow their business,” Premier Capital Chief Executive Officer Victor Tedesco said. “They allowed us to enter 2020 on a positive footing, well-positioned to rapidly take the necessary action to preserve cash, stabilise operations and protect revenues as far as possible without ever compromising the health and safety of our people and our customers. Our senior management team is keeping a close watch on every business unit from human resources to operations to supply chain, checking in with our people constantly and providing support.
“During this time, we are determined to stay close to the communities in which we operate, serving customers with good food fast and safely. Behind the scenes, we have been showing our appreciation for the dedication of frontline workers.
“While we await the beginning of recovery, we are focused on adapting to shifting consumer behavior and expectation, understanding how best to leverage resources for the benefit of the business, our people and our customers, and identifying the opportunities brought about by a whole new economy.”