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COVID-19 impact: Westlife Development sees lower demand in short-term

Currently, over 150 of Westlife's restaurants are operational through different business channels, the company, which owns Hardcastle Restaurants, the master franchisee of McDonald's restaurants for west and south India, said.

By: PTI | New Delhi | June 12, 2020 4:55:35 pm
Signage for McDonald’s Corp. is displayed outside a restaurant, operated by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt., in Mumbai, India, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Westlife Development, which operates McDonald’s restaurants in southern and western region in India, expects demand to remain low in the short-term due to COVID-19 and subsequent disruptions.

A large part of Westlife’s restaurant business could not be made operational due to the lockdown which has impacted company’s revenues and profitability, it said in a filing to the bourses informing about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

“In the short-term, the company is estimating lower demands. Though we do hope the business situation will normalise soon, it is too early to assess the future impact of COVID-19 with reasonable certainty,” it said.

Currently, over 150 of Westlife’s restaurants are operational through different business channels, the company, which owns Hardcastle Restaurants, the master franchisee of McDonald’s restaurants for west and south India, said.

Hardcastle Restaurants currently operates over 300 McDonald’s restaurants across 42 cities and 11 states.

“…as large part of our restaurant business could not be made operational due to lockdown, our revenues have been adversely impacted,” the filing said.

However, the business continued to incur committed expenditures, especially concerning employees and other expenditures not directly linked to revenues, during the lockdown, which significantly impacted profitability.

Though the company had closed dine-in services at its McDonald’s outlets, its McDelivery and drive-thru facilities were restarted after government releaxed lockdown restrictions.

“As normalcy starts beginning June second week pursuant to directions of various states, we are ensuring commercial and supply readiness to open our restaurants, ensuring social distancing norms, highest measures on safety, health and hygiene of our staff, customers and vendors, not only for in-store but also for deliveries and takeaways,” it said.

There is no interruption in supply of food, packaging or toys, Westlife said.

“We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure that we have a continuous supply of safe and fresh ingredients to ensure business continuity,” it added.

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