JOHANNESBURG – Famous Brands on Monday reported that headline earnings per share were up 10.6 percent for the six months ended 31 August due to strong organic growth in South Africa and the rest of Africa and Middle East (AME) operations.

Its United Kingdom operations continued to underperform as the trading environment was characterized by intensified competition, declining footfall in malls, and rising input costs of labour and property rates, and also the slow pace of progress on Brexit negotiations continued to subdue consumer sentiment.

This as Famous Brands commenced 10-year capacity-building programme, Project Decade, and launched plant-wide efficiencies programme with rewarding initial results. 

The group's brands portfolio comprises 25 restaurant brands, including Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs, Mugg & Bean among others, represented by a network of 2,874 restaurants across South Africa, the rest of Africa, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

Operating profit grew by 9.9 percent to R222.5 million, up from R202.5 million last year, of which leading brands contributed R218.6 million and signature brands the balance with no dividend declared.

In the six months period, the group prioritised its leading mainstream brands, up weighting resource support expanded the home delivery offering across all brands, grew capability in the digital and social media arenas; and entrenched its presence in key AME markets.

The group said that it continues to comply with its financial covenants and comfortably meet its repayment obligations of R2.4 billion debt, in line with agreed financing commitments. The group said it was satisfied that the growth agenda and strategies were clear despite challenging local and global trading conditions.

African News Agency (ANA)