KUALA LUMPUR: QSR Brands Bhd is expanding its restaurant business under the KFC brand to Cambodia.
The first outlet is expected to be operational in Phnom Penh by year-end, said chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim during a press conference to announce the new venture Thursday.
The group plans to open four outlets initially in the capital as well as in major towns. This would be followed by two new restaurants every year.
The expansion to Cambodia involves setting up a joint venture company with two local partners, Royal Group of Companies Ltd and Rightlink Corp Ltd. QSR will hold 55% while Royal Group and Rightlink have 35% and 10% respectively.
QSR’s initial investment is about US$3mil (RM10.5mil), which will be funded internally.
The group is hopeful that Cambodia would contribute profitably in the first year. "Everyone likes to eat chicken," Muhammad Ali said, adding that the country has a population of more than 14 million.
Presently, overseas operations, namely Singapore and Brunei, contribute about 15% of revenue.
If this latest venture proves to be successful, the group will consider expanding the Pizza Hut and Ayamas brands to Cambodia as well, Muhammad Ali said.
He noted that besides Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos also did not have the KFC presence.