Saturday, July 26, 2014

Future Bright - Part 2

(2) Industrial Catering

The largest integrated casino resorts employ up to 24,000 staff each and the employees live where they work. These workers are currently fed and watered by the casino's own kitchen and Future Bright is hoping to wrest that business for itself.

To that end, the company has adopted a two step strategy: (1) in November 2012, it raised $75 million via a secondary placing in order to construct a 100,000 sq ft central kitchen in Zuhai; and (2) it has sought and won contracts to provide catering at Macau’s universities, schools and hospitals that it hopes will serve as a demonstration of its competence (in terms of food safety, capacity, logistics, and cost).

These demonstration contracts contributed $18 million to Future Bright’s 2013 gross operating margin and, with the addition of full year contributions from Macau University’s Hengqin Campus and the International School of Macau, will contribute ~ $38 million in 2014.

The company expects that the economics of catering for casino staff would look something like this:

It's anybody's guess as to how many casino catering contracts the company will win: it could be zero and it could be 6. I have modeled 1 at the low end and three at the high end.

(3) Food wholesale

The company is the largest importer of Japanese ingredients and foods for wholesale to the Pearl River Delta region. 

(4) Macau rental

The company owns Yellow House, a six story building located across the way from the ruins of St Paul's Church. (St Paul's is, in tourism terms, Macau's version of the Eiffel Tower). 

Yellow House had, until January, been rented out to the Macau tourism authority at $14 million a year and is now let to Forever 21 at $28m/year. The company has reserved some space for use by its own food souvenir business discussed below.

(5) Food Souvenirs

The company has built a production plant and formed a 70/30 joint venture with Macau Yeng Kee Bakery, a recognized Macau brand with 85 years' heritage, in order to get into the business of selling Moon Cakes (and almond cookies, egg rolls, and beef jerky) to tourists. I mentioned above that it plans to retail these items from Yellow House but it has also rented store fronts in Old Macau for that purpose. However, the company (and I) expect that its restaurant network will be its most important distribution channel. 

The company expects to carve out a 3% to 5% market share for its JV which, long story short, translates into just over $16 million in margin contribution to Future Bright, a figure that one wouldn't be crazy to think grows along with both the number of visitors to Macau and the number restaurants that Future Bright operates.


So that's the current operating business. I think it achieves at least $800 to $1,200 million in run rate EBIT in three years. 

(I've left out same store sales growth, remember, and that in itself could constitute an additional $200 to $400 million in additional run rate EBIT and would therefore be worth Future Bright's entire enterprise value. For my purposes, though, it is a buffer).

I think 10x EBIT  (or 11x earnings) is a reasonable exit multiple -- it corresponds to a 4.5% dividend at 50% payout. 

I'll talk about the Hengqin project in the next post.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Future Bright Holdings - Part 1

Future Bright is a food and beverage business in Macau with six sources of value: (1) Retail catering; (2) Industrial catering; (3) Food wholesale; (4) Macau rental; (5) Food souvenirs; and the (6) Hengqin project.

I think it will be worth HK $20, or 5x its current market price, in three years.

(1) Retail catering

Retail catering mostly consists of in-casino restaurants and food court concessions.  The restaurants are mid- to high-end establishments with average ticket prices ranging from HK $750 at the Edo nameplate, to $150 in the "Other" category which consists mostly of the Pacific Coffee chain for which Future Bright is the franchisee.

These store fronts are leased from cooperative landlords who want the punters to stay on their property, and serve time-conscious and price insensitive tourists.

Constant, recession-resistant traffic; high margins; no advertising and marketing expense; rapid turnover of inventory; and low rents: the economics of this segment are as good as it gets in food retail. 

By the close of 2014 there will have been a big step up in this segment's footprint and earning power. The star next to "2014" in the table above indicates my estimate of the run-rate values based on the 268K sq ft in operation at the end of 2014 and adjusted for the slightly different mix of formats and locations. (Each format has its own gross operating margin: Japanese = 38%: Chinese = 30%; Western = 50%; "Other", which is mostly coffee shops, = 38% , and  food court concessions = 50%. Casino restaurants earn more than mall and airport locations, etc.)

Casino, resort and hotel rooms will double from ~29,000 now to 60,000 in 2017.  Future Bright is the largest food and beverage company in Macau, its owner operator is the Chair of the Food & Beverage Merchants Association (and a Macau legislator), it has working relationships (and has renewed its existing leases) with all six casino operators. The company has made plain its intent to open 28 new restaurants in the Cotai Strip between 2015 and 2017 as new hotel/casinos open. I therefore don't doubt that its footprint and earnings power will close to double over that period - as indicated in the "2017" column above.  

Finally, Macau's problem has long been a shortage of accommodation. Rooms are (and have long been) 95% occupied on average, placing a limit on the number of overnight visits to Macau. As a consequence, the average length of a stay in Macau is something like 0.96 days compared to 3.5 for Las Vegas. More rooms means more overnight stays, which means more -- and more evenly distributed -- traffic at Future Bright's restaurants and food court concessions. 

If the length of the average stay lengthened to 1.5 days,  the retail catering segment could enjoy up to a 45% increase in its earning power (56% more revenue per sq ft x 74% gross margins). I haven't accounted for that in the table above.

Some context:

.. to be continued in the next post

Disclosure: I am long Future Bright. My facts could be wrong and my judgment warped. Do your own research and use your own judgment.