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[BANGKOK] PTT PCL has signed a franchise deal with US-based fast food chain Texas Chicken as Thailand's largest energy firm tries to boost its revenue from non-oil businesses amid weak crude oil prices.
PTT plans to invest 1.5 billion baht to open at least 70 Texas Chicken branches over the next five years, Buranin Rattanasombat, executive vice-president for PTT's retail marketing, told reporters on Friday, with the first restaurant due to open in November.
The franchise is PTT's first major investment into Thailand's 30 billion baht fast food market: the company currently operates coffee shops under the Cafe Amazon and Daddy Dough local brands.
PTT plans to sign more food franchise deals in a bid to make non-oil businesses contribute about half of its overall profit over the next five years from just 20 percent now, Chief Operating Officer Sarun Rungkasiri added.
Texas Chicken will compete with KFC Thailand, which is operated by US firm Yum Brands Inc.
Last month, KFC Thailand, which notches the highest sales among fast food fried chicken restaurants, said it planned to boost the number of its branches in to 800 by 2020 from 532 at end-April.