Pizza Hut to Follow KFC's Ivorian Debut as Vivo Eyes Expansion

(Bloomberg) -- Vivo Energy Plc said it will open the first outlet of Yum! Brands Inc.’s Pizza Hut in Ivory Coast after its debut of the dining-chain company’s KFC brand met expectations.

The forecourt operator signed a deal with Yum for Pizza Hut after being “quite happy” about the performance of the first KFC store that opened in April in Abidjan, the commercial capital, said Ben Hassan Ouattara, managing director for the London-based company’s local unit. Vivo and venture partner KFC Baobab will open two more outlets of the fried chicken chain before the end of the year, with more stores planned for 2019, KFC Baobab Director Grant Wheatley said in an interview.

Vivo is also in partnership with Burger King for an outlet in Ivory Coast.

“African consumers, as with other consumers worldwide, value convenience,” Ouattara said in an emailed response to questions. “As a consequence, there’s a strong increasing demand for convenient and portable products.”

Vivo sells fuels and lubricants under the Shell brand at about 1,800 service stations in over 15 African states, a footprint that will expand in nine additional countries with the acquisition of Engen Holdings (Pty) Ltd.’s retail assets. Consumers in the West African nation are becoming more affluent after economic growth exceeded 7.5 percent for six straight years, with expansion for 2018 forecast at 7.3 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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