Americana Restaurants, the Middle East and North Africa franchisee of fast-food brands KFC and Pizza Hut, is looking to enter new markets and boost brand penetration, the company’s chairman, Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar said.

The restaurant operator, which raised $1.8 billion from its initial public offering (IPO) in 2022, had previously reported a 16% year-on-year growth in revenue and 27% rise in net profit for the full year of 2022.

In a statement on Thursday, Alabbar said 2022 was a landmark year for the company. He said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains a “uniquely attractive” market, thanks to a growing young population and rising urbanisation.

“Americana Restaurants’ near-term focus will be to leverage the strength of its platform to increase the penetration of existing brands, enter new categories and expand geographically … by entering new markets,” Alabbar, who is also the founder of Emaar Properties, said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

He said the company will continue to make investments in restaurant redesigns and organisation efficiency.

“The MENA region remains uniquely attractive for out-of-home dining, with strong macroeconomic tailwinds, a growing youth population and soaring urbanisation. These dynamics, coupled with the cultural internationalism of our target markets, provides our business with a springboard for growth across MENA and Kazakhstan,” Alabbar said.

Americana operates 2,050 restaurants in 12 countries across MENA and Kazakhstan, carrying brands like KFC, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut and Krispy Kreme. The company made its debut on both the ADX and Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) last December.

Revenue drivers

Americana’s revenues last year were mainly driven by the KFC brand, which contributed approximately 61% of the company’s revenues, or around $1.5 billion. The brand crossed a record 100 million transactions for the first time and delivered like-for-like sales growth of 18%.

Hardee’s came in as the second-biggest driver of Americana’s performance, bringing in a total of $403 million last year, or around 17% of the company’s total revenues. The brand had a strong performance in markets like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Pizza Hut saw its revenues rise by 12% to $264 million last year, approximately 11% of Americana’s full-year revenues.

Krispy Kreme generated $90 million in sales, approximately 4% of annual revenues. This was supported by the brand’s opening in Jordan and accelerating growth in Egypt.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)