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E-mart’s profitability to surge after Starbucks Korea acquisition: analysts

Customers wait for their beverage at a Starbucks store in Seoul on July 27. (Yonhap)
Customers wait for their beverage at a Starbucks store in Seoul on July 27. (Yonhap)




Acquiring additional shares in Starbucks Korea could boost E-mart’s operating profit to near 1 trillion won ($864.4 million) within years, analysts said Wednesday.

Several analysts praised E-mart’s decision to buy an additional stake in Starbucks Korea, which will become a subsidiary of the supermarket chain once the deal is closed.

On Tuesday, E-mart, the supermarket chain under retail giant Shinsegae Group, announced that it bought an additional 17.5 percent stake in Starbucks Korea for 473.3 billion won, becoming the largest shareholder with a 67.5 percent stake. GIC, Singapore’s sovereign fund, will hold the remaining 32.5 percent in the Korean unit of the global coffee chain.

The deal valued Starbucks Korea at 2.71 trillion won, 17 times the estimated price earnings ratio in 2021. Some researchers expect the value of the company to sharply rise soon.

“Applying this year’s price-to-earnings ratio of 21 to the estimated net income of 160 billion won, the value of Starbuck Korea will stand at 3.3 trillion this year,” Jeong So-yeon, a researcher at Kyobo Securities, wrote in a report released Wednesday. “With next year’s estimated net income of 184 billion won, the company’s value will rise to 3.9 trillion won.“

“Incorporating Starbucks Coffee Korea, E-mart’s operating profit forecast in 2022 could be raised from 620.7 billion won to 878.6 billion won,” Lee Jin-hyeob, an analyst at Yuanta Securities, wrote in a report, suggesting a target price of 280,000 won.

Other brokerages, including HI Investment and Securities, Kyobo Securities, and Daeshin Securities, offered target prices above 200,000 won. Shares in the Kospi-listed E-mart closed up 1.8 percent, or 3,000 won, to 169,500 won on Wednesday.

By Park Ga-young (gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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