Famous Brands voluntary sales update

Famous Brands has delivered a satisfying performance for the three months commencing October 2011 and ending December 2011, in line with management’s expectations. System-wide turnover (including new restaurants) grew 10%, while like-on-like revenue increased 6.8% across the franchise network. Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Hedderwick comments, “This is a very pleasing performance given the prevailing subdued trading conditions, and bearing in mind that many of Famous Brands’ well-established mainstream brands have immense restaurant networks, so growth is off a high base – for example, Wimpy comprises 521 restaurants (excluding the UK), Steers: 532 restaurants, Debonairs Pizza: 370 restaurants, Mugg & Bean: 128 restaurants and FishAways: 123 restaurants. Notwithstanding this, Hedderwick confirmed that these major brands all delivered ‘stand out’ performances. He also noted that the Group’s premium-end offering, tashas, continued to show impressive growth. During the period, 60 restaurants were opened across the Group’s network in South Africa and a further 18 in Africa, the latter equating to 23% of new restaurants opened, and a reflection of Famous Brands’ success in gaining traction in the region. Particularly strong growth was experienced in Mauritius, Zambia and Nigeria. Of the Group’s brand portfolio, strongest growth in new restaurant numbers was achieved by Debonairs Pizza and Mugg & Bean. This trend is indicative of the continued robust growth of pizza consumption amongst black consumers, whilst Mugg & Bean’s growth is primarily attributable to the brand’s extended presence on Total Petroleum forecourts. During the quarter the Group launched its re-engineered new look Milky Lane offering in Kimberley to very favourable response. Further roll-out of the new identity will commence across the network in the near future. In addition, the integration of Milky Lane’s soft serve business was completed during the period, driving revenue up strongly at the Group’s Ice Cream manufacturing plant. Trading patterns over the December holiday period differed somewhat from previous years, largely as a result of continued financial pressure on consumers. “The traditional exodus of holidaymakers from inland to coastal resorts took place much later than normal, and to a much lesser degree,” explains Hedderwick. “Whilst our restaurants on transient routes and at airports traditionally deliver extremely robust growth at this time, we noticed that this was slightly more subdued than previously, however, the performance of the Group’s restaurants in inland shopping malls was stronger than traditionally expected.” The above financial figures have not been reviewed or reported on by the Group’s external auditors.     Notes to editors:
The Group’s total franchise network as at end December 2011 comprised 2042 restaurants. The Group also manufactures and supplies its franchisees and the retail trade with wide range of meat, sauces, spices, bakery, ice cream, fruit juice and mineral water products.
For further information:
Kevin Hedderwick Chief Executive Officer Famous Brands Ltd Telephone: 011 651 5812 Del-Maree English Investor Communications Mobile: 083 395 8608