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RFG says customer count rising but profits down, stores to close

Business

Gold Coast-based Retail Food Group has forecast underlying earnings of $35 million this year, a fall of $15 million from 2019, as customer numbers start to show signs of improvement.

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The company, whose brands include Gloria Jean’s, Brumby’s and Donut King, said recent data showed a weighted average decline in customers of 13.7 per cent and said it was watching the situation in Victoria after the recent spike in coronavirus infections.

RFG executive chairman Peter George said 17 of its outlets remained closed because of the pandemic and he expected about seven would close permanently. About 30 outlets internationally were also closed permanently.

“These were forecast to close in the near future and COVID-19 has simply expedited that outcome,” he said.

The company had also negotiated rental concessions on 415 outlets.

“Temporary closures among the group’s international franchise network had reduced considerably as local government restrictions eased,” George said.

“While around 138 international outlets remained closed, 30 of which permanently, 150 were now operating with limited dine-in and a further 230 on a takeaway only basis.

“RFG has completed a restructure if its wholesale coffee business realising annualised cost savings of about $6 million per annum and centralising domestic roasting operations within its state-of-the-art Sydney facility.

“RFG expects trading conditions to remain challenging in the foreseeable term and therefore anticipates and continuation of those measures implemented by the group in response to the pandemic to support franchises.”

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