SARS drops Thailand Pizza Hut sales 10%

June 15, 2003

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Pizza Hut, the second-largest pizza franchise in Thailand, with 85 stores, said the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has dropped its sales here by 10 percent.

According to Business Day, Yum Restaurants International (Thailand), which franchises Pizza Hut, believes SARS' overall impact won't abate for the next few months.

Yum International managing director Panithan Sethabutra said that about 20 percent to 30 percent of the company's clients were foreigners, and that sales at its Don Muang International Airport location were down 30 percent. Other stores in its system reported declines of 15 percent.

"Last year, we saw a 30 percent increase in sales," said Sethabutra. "It will be very difficult to match those figures this year."

The company will attempt to boost sales through a 20 million baht (U.S. $480,000) promotional campaign and new product launches. It hopes the effort will boost sales by 20 percent.

Panithan added that two new pizzas will be added to the menu this year.

"I will be satisfied to have a 40 percent share of the 2.5 billion baht (U.S. $60 million) pizza restaurant market," he said, adding four new outlets will be opened in 2003.

Topics: Marketing

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