Retail Food Group: reports sweet sales growth in H1/2009

Southport / AU. (rfg) The Australian Retail Food Group Limited (RFG), which owns the Donut King, Michel´s Patisserie and Brumby´s bakeries chains, said in an «operational update» that it would achieve a 9,9 million AUD first half net profit for fiscal 2009. The statement confirmed the profit forecast made at its annual general meeting in November. The update in exact wording:

Leading Australian retail food brand manager and franchisor Retail Food Group Limited (RFG) announced that retail trade performance of its four iconic franchise systems during December 2008 remained positive thus consolidating excellent H1/2009 results in respect of Average Weekly Sales (AWS), Average Transaction Value (ATV) and Network Sales.

AWS and ATV for each of the Company´s Donut King, Michel´s Patisserie, Brumby´s Bakeries and bb´s café franchise systems have continued to achieve healthy growth for the six month period ended 31st December 2008 over the previous corresponding period.

RFG CEO Tony Alford: «Significantly, the robust retail trade experienced by our franchise systems during November and December 2008 has resulted in a weighted average weekly sales growth across all outlets of approximately 5,8 percent – a considerable increase on the 4,0 percent growth reported as at the end of October 2008. As a consequence, the company´s first half guidance of Net Profit after Tax of approximately 9,9 million AUD disclosed during the Company´s November 2008 AGM will be achieved».

Further details regarding RFG´s performance and full year outlook will be provided at the time of the company´s publication of H1/2009 results currently scheduled for the third week of February 2009.

RFG also advises that, further to its announcement of December 2008, the settlement of the Central Manufacturing Facility (CMF) disposition has now been effected with the transaction proceeds being utilised to voluntarily reduce debt.

RFG CEO Tony Alford noted that «the CMF transaction proceeds of approximately 9,5 million AUD, when coupled with earlier facility repayments made over the course of the past seven months, have resulted in an overall 19 million AUD discretionary reduction in the company´s debt position. Debt reduction of this magnitude over such a compressed time frame not only enhances the company´s capital structure but as well, enhances future earnings».

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