Fast-food chain Fairwood Holdings will continue to focus on younger, more health-conscious diners after a re-branding campaign launched last year took hold and kept the firm in the black for the second year in a row. Despite coming under the shadow of Sars in the first half of last year, Hong Kong's second-largest fast-food operator yesterday posted a 17 per cent rise in net profit to $3.7 million for the year to March, up from $3.16 million in the previous year. Turnover grew 2 per cent to $745 million, from $732 million. Chairman Dennis Lo Hoi-yeung attributed the growth to the recovery in the local retail industry and the company's $15 million re-branding campaign. A new logo, smarter staff uniforms and revamped outlets energised the chain's image, Mr Lo said yesterday. This had led to a change in customer demographics, with more youths and young families dining at Fairwood. 'Our customers are now younger, more sophisticated and more health-conscious,' he said. Fairwood is planning to increase capital expenditure to $60 million this year to open five to seven new outlets, primarily in large-scale malls targeting younger shoppers, and renovate 16 to 18 existing stores. However, Mr Lo denied the increase would put pressure on the company's finances. 'We have a cash balance of $76 million and our gearing ratio has decreased from 20 per cent to 17 per cent this year.' Average spending per customer increased from $23 to $24 in the second half of the year. During the year, Fairwood opened three new outlets and renovated 16 stores. Mr Lo said Fairwood would continue to target younger customers as they were more open to new products and higher prices. No final dividend will be paid. Earnings per share were three cents compared with 2.5 cents in the previous year.