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Burger Fuel turns to profit as it changes direction

Friday 14th June 2019

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Burger Fuel Worldwide says it posted a $1.2 million net profit for the year ended March, a turnaround from the previous year’s $463,000 net loss, as it transitions to a new business model.

Sales fell 15 percent to $21 million, mostly reflecting the sale of the company-owned store in the United States to founding director Chris Mason in March last year, while expenses dropped 22.7 percent to $19.2 million.

“This internal change lowers revenue from our proprietary product manufacturing operation but will ensure that this business unit becomes more financially efficient,” the company says.

Total system sales – including both company-owned and franchised stores – fell 2.9 percent to $102 million.

There were 78 BurgerFuel stores operating worldwide and two new outlets in New Zealand, one for each of the company’s new concepts, Shake Out, a new burger concept developed in-house, and Winner Winner, the chicken concept purchased by BFW in December 2017.

The company is in the process of changing from a single-brand international company to a multi-brand New Zealand company.

“This transition is going well, and we are pleased that we have managed to absorb all the costs associated with this transition, as well as the costs to develop the new brands and provide an acceptable profit for full-year 2019,” the company says.

“We will continue to focus on the opening of new restaurants in NZ and we look forward to updating the market with these new openings as the year progresses,” it says.

“As advised on Feb. 15, the board has sought input from KPMG’s corporate finance team to undertake a full strategic options review of the business and to look at all potential opportunities for the group. That review is now underway.”

Of the BurgerFuel stores, 56 are in New Zealand.

The company says there are still opportunities to open new BurgerFuel stores in New Zealand but it will only do so it we can achieve "both the right locations as well as the accompanying franchisees.”

The Middle East “has been very challenging in recent years” and the company expects sales there will continue to decline.

In the US, Mason is still looking for “an established US partner” but the single store continues to trade, although sales have been declining.

Burger Fuel shares are 1 cent higher at 47 cents, valuing the company at $25.2 million. They have fallen more than 40 percent in the past 12 months.

The company floated and listed on NZX’s Alternative Exchange in 2007 after selling 15 million shares at $1. They peaked at $3.80 in 2014. With the dissolution of the AX, the company plans to migrate to NZX’s main board.


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