On March 2, 2021, Hurun Research Institute released the “2021 Hurun Global Rich List”. Haidilao’s founder Zhang Yong and his wife were ranked 38th in the world with NetEase’s Ding Lei with a fortune of RMB 245 billion, and their wealth increased by 138 year-on-year. %, without any suspense, became the richest man in Singapore again.
According to data, Zhang Yong and his wife Shu Ping are both Singaporeans. The couple had previously ranked first on the Forbes Singapore Rich List announced in August 2020 with a net worth of US$19 billion. The deadline for entrepreneur wealth calculation is January 15, 2021. Based on this calculation, Zhang Yong and his wife’s net worth soared by more than 100 billion yuan in six months.
However, Zhang Yong, whose net worth has soared, is not without worries. Since February 18, Haidilao’s stock price has fallen by more than 18%, and its market value has evaporated by nearly 80 billion Hong Kong dollars. The profit warning issued by Haidilao on the evening of March 1st showed that the group expects its net profit in 2020 to fall by about 90% year-on-year.
At the same time, Haidilao has been plagued by negative public opinion for the past year. Following the exposure of food price increases, plastic slices eaten in black-bone chicken rolls, and paid queue jumpers, Haidilao has recently caused heated discussions due to the installation of cameras in private rooms.
Haidilao’s rapid expansion strategy is no longer news, but the company’s recent highlights will inevitably lead to suspicion. In addition to the epidemic, are Haidilao’s plummeting performance affected by other factors?
Haidilao’s net profit fell by 90%, Zhang Yong still sits firmly among the richest man in Singapore
On the evening of March 1, Haidilao announced that the group expects that its net profit for the year ended December 31, 2020 will be about 90% lower than the net profit of the group for the year ended December 31, 2019 of approximately RMB 2.347 billion.
For the reasons for the decline, Haidilao gave two explanations. The first is “the outbreak of the new crown virus in 2019 and subsequent disease prevention measures, as well as the restrictions imposed by countries and regions around the world on consumer sites have a significant impact on the Group’s operations”, and the second is “net exchange due to fluctuations in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the RMB. The loss was approximately RMB 235 million, most of which were unrealized exchange losses.”
The outside world has long expected Haidilao’s performance to decline in the past year, but what was unexpected is that the decline was 90%.
In the first half of 2020, Haidilao achieved revenue of 9.761 billion yuan, down 16.54% year-on-year, and recorded a loss of 965 million yuan. At that time, CITIC Securities stated that the public health incident will have a direct short-term impact on catering companies, but the long-term trend will not change, and after the residents’ lives gradually return to normal, the previously suppressed demand is expected to be released explosively. The research report written by Guosen Securities is also titled “The most difficult moment or has passed”, and believes that Haidilao’s contrarian expansion will lay the foundation for higher performance growth in the future.
On February 2, 2021, the research report issued by Everbright Securities predicts that Haidilao will achieve a net profit of 540 million yuan for the entire year.
However, if calculated by a 90% decline, Haidilao’s net profit attributable to the parent in 2020 may be only 234 million yuan, the lowest since its listing.
Despite this, Haidilao is still favored by the capital market. Since New Year’s Day in 2020, Haidilao’s stock price has risen by more than 115%. If the deadline is advanced to before the Spring Festival in 2021, Haidilao’s stock price has risen by more than 158%, and its market value has soared by more than 260 billion Hong Kong dollars.
As the market value of Haidilao has risen, the wealth of Zhang Yong and his wife has also risen. According to the 2020 semi-annual report, Zhang Yong’s approximate shareholding in Haidilao’s total issued share capital is 68.16%.
On September 26, 2018, Haidilao was successfully listed in Hong Kong. In 2019, Zhang Yong and Shu Ping topped the “Forbes 2019 Singapore Rich List” list with a net worth of US$13.8 billion; when the list is released again in 2020, Zhang Yong The Yong couple’s net worth has risen to 19 billion U.S. dollars, and they continue to be the richest man in Singapore.
On the “2021 Hurun Global Rich List” released by the Hurun Research Institute on March 2, 2021, Zhang Yong and his wife rose 6 places, their wealth increased by 138%, and ranked 38th in the world with a net worth of RMB 245 billion. Li Ka-shing , Meituan Wang Xing, Country Garden Yang Huiyan family, Xiaomi Lei Jun, Evergrande Xu Jiayin, Jingdong Liu Qiangdong, Zhang Zetian and his wife left behind.
Compared with many of the richest people on the list, Zhang Yong started from a lower starting point. In 1994, Zhang Yong, who sells spicy tang, founded Haidilao with his wife and friends. After 24 years of ups and downs, it finally went public. Currently, Zhang Yong’s assets span catering, entertainment, education, and investment. The empire of Haidilao Group includes Yihai International, New Third Board Company Youdingyou, New Third Board Video Security Company Wan Jiaan, Supply Chain Shuhai Weihai Catering Management Training Company, Shuyun Oriental Decoration Company, etc.
In order to better engage in investment, Haidilao established Haiyue Investment in 2012; in addition, Zhang Yong is also one of the indirect investors of Yunfeng Equity Investment Center and Haijing Linxiyu Investment Center; in 2019, Shu Ping also worked in Singapore Set up a family office.
Frequent hot searches, damaged brand image
While performance is at a low point, Haidilao has recently been involved in a whirlpool of negative public opinion from time to time.
In the past year, Haidilao has often been seen on Weibo’s hot search list. Radar Finance noted that Haidilao Hot Pot’s official Weibo has 314,700 followers. This data is not outstanding among Weibo big V with tens of millions of fans, but there are as many as 914 topics about Haidilao. .
Immediately after resuming work after the 2020 epidemic, Haidilao was complained by netizens due to the price increase. “The average per capita is 220+, and the half of blood has risen from 16 to 23 yuan, eight small pieces; half of potato chips is 13 yuan, and one potato is 1.5 yuan. Self-service seasoning costs 10 yuan a person; rice 7 yuan a bowl; small crispy pork 50 yuan a plate, it’s too much…”
In this regard, Haidilao first responded that the price increase was affected by the epidemic and rising costs, but the overall price adjustment of dishes was controlled at 6%. Seeing that in a survey initiated by netizens on Weibo, more than 800,000 of the 984,000 who participated in the vote chose “don’t eat if the price rises”. Haidilao issued an apology, stating that the price increase was the wrong decision of the company’s management. And the price of vegetables has been restored to the standard before the store closed.
In fact, Haidilao has been raising prices every year before. According to data from the Tianfeng Securities Research Institute, the per-customer price of Haidilao’s first-tier cities has risen from 93.2 yuan in 2015 to 110.1 yuan in 2019. However, industry analysts believe that the price increase after the epidemic is far greater than before. Timing is also more sensitive, which arouses strong consumer resistance.
Three months later, Haidilao was plagued by food safety problems one after another. According to media reports, on July 12, a consumer ate hard plastic slices in black-bone chicken rolls while eating in Jinan Haidilao hot pot. Haidilao staff then removed the remaining black-boiled chicken rolls for recycling, and proposed this order to be exempt. And compensate the 500 yuan hot pot coupon treatment plan, the plan was rejected by consumers. The next day, Ms. Zheng and her friends both had stomach cramps and blood in the stool to varying degrees.
On July 20, Haidilao issued an apology, stating that the incident was caused by “the improper operation of the employees in the filling process of the supplier’s factory, which caused the product label to fall into the product”.
Only one week after the apology, a Haidilao store in Hangzhou was found on the “black list of random inspections” by the local Municipal Supervision Bureau for a batch of chopsticks used in the store. It is reported that this pathogenic bacteria can cause a variety of local tissue and organ infections such as gastrointestinal infections under certain conditions. In this regard, Haidilao said it would directly punish the manager of the store in question and apologized.
Haidilao’s bad luck has not stopped. In October 2020, the China Consumers Association named Haidilao to spend money to buy an account to shorten the queue time, which caused the chaos of other consumers who did not spend money to queue for longer. According to reports, as early as January 2020, Haidilao issued a statement on cracking down on illegal sales of Haidilao’s store equivalents. However, after 9 months, the chaos of paying queues still persists.
Media investigations found that spending 40 yuan on Taobao can enjoy “privileged” services, including a 30 yuan jump-in fee and 10 yuan to enjoy a 8.8% discount for Black Sea members. After netizens purchase related services, the number of tables they waited instantly changed from 217 tables to 1 table, and the benefits of Black Sea membership would have been enjoyed only after spending over 12,000 yuan in the past year.
Although Haidilao has since issued a statement on cracking down on online sales of false ranking information, netizens who do not buy it believe that Haidilao is purely “pretending to be confused.”
After the Spring Festival in 2021, Haidilao will be on the hot search again, this time because of the installation of cameras in the private rooms.
Yan Chuang, a lawyer from Beijing Zhongwen Law Firm, said to Leda Finance that the installation of a camera in a restaurant’s private room is suspected of infringing on the privacy of guests. When a guest chooses a private room, he must have a good dining environment and emphasize privacy. It is not appropriate to install a camera in a restaurant’s private room. . If the restaurant is to be installed, an obvious sign should be set up in the monitoring area to inform consumers that there is a camera in the private room.
However, Yan Chuang also admitted that from the perspective of restaurants, cameras are installed to protect consumers’ property and strengthen safety management. The current law does not clearly stipulate this area, but some local governments have issued government regulations to restrict it.
The hidden worries of Crazy Extension
Radar Finance has found that Haidilao has expanded very rapidly in recent years.
According to the prospectus, Haidilao’s global restaurant network has increased from 112 at the beginning of 2015 to 273 at the beginning of 2018, expanding to 161 in three years. By 2018, Haidilao had added 262 new stores worldwide in just one year, and this number had increased to 302 in 2019. According to Everbright Securities’ forecasts, Haidilao will add 525 new stores throughout the year in 2020.
Since 2019, Haidilao’s fast-food brands have been intensively launched on the market-“Eighteen Boil”, “Lao Pai You Noodles”, “Bai Bran Private Noodles”, “Xin Qin Pai Noodles Restaurant”, “Fan Fan Lin”, “Qin Xiaoxian” and so on. In January 2021, Haidilao Wuhan also launched a “tea making paradise” that allows customers to make their own milk tea.
Different from Haidilao’s own attributes, these brands focus on people-friendly prices. According to media statistics, the per capita prices of Shiba Bian, Qin Xiaoxian, Lao Pai Youer, and Baiyun Private Room Noodles are 5-15 yuan, 3.9-16.9 yuan, respectively. About 2.9-9.9 yuan, 6-10 yuan, a cup of milk tea in the tea making paradise is only 9.9 yuan, add whatever you want.
In addition, these small shops adopt a semi-self-service model, where customers order, pick up, pick up cutlery, recycle plates, and even pour their own water cups. This is also different from Haidilao’s strong service attributes.
Tianyan check shows that the initial investment subscription amount for the above-mentioned fast food projects is 1 million yuan. At present, several sub-brands have not formed a scale, and their contribution to revenue is extremely limited.
With the expansion of the store scale, Haidilao’s operating costs will inevitably rise.
In 2018, Haidilao’s raw materials and consumables cost 6.935 billion yuan, an increase of 60.8% compared to 2017’s 4.313 billion yuan; staff costs were 5.016 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 60.8%. In 2019, Haidilao’s raw materials and consumables cost 11.239 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 61.64%; staff costs 7.993 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 59.3%. At the same time, the proportion of the two costs in revenue is gradually increasing, and this has not changed even in the first half of 2020, which is severely affected by the epidemic.
In 2018 and 2019, Haidilao’s revenue growth was 59.53% and 56.50%, which were significantly lower than the growth rate of the two costs. Considering that Haidilao’s expansion store will grow more rapidly in 2020, the above two costs have further increased. Or it’s a foregone conclusion.
In order to reduce costs, Haidilao laid off 10,614 employees in the first half of 2020. The 2019 annual report shows that Haidilao Group has a total of 102,800 employees, with an average annual salary (including allowances and benefits) of 77,800 yuan. Based on this simple calculation, the cost of layoffs for Haidilao is over 800 million yuan.
Industry insiders believe that in the next three to five years, the number of Haidilao’s stores may reach the upper limit and enter a development bottleneck period. It needs to work from other businesses, but to change the current sub-brand’s tepid state, Haidilao The investment in this area is far from enough.
In April 2020, Zhang Yong issued an open letter on “starting the succession plan”. The letter stated that he would withdraw in 10 to 15 years. Before he officially withdrew, Zhang Yong still had a lot of troubles.