Pizza chains on the up


crust pizzaThe company behind the Pizza Capers and Crust Gourmet Pizza chains says an aggressive expansion is going better than planned.

Retail Food Group (RFG), which additionally owns Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery, and Michel’s Patisserie, has also indicated it will grow by buying more businesses.

The company had planned to open 70 new pizza stores in the current financial year, but that target has increased to about 85 because the expansion has progressed ahead of expectations.

Half of the new stores are already franchised, and 45 new stores are expected to be in place by Christmas, Retail Food Group says.

It also plans to open a further 60 pizza stores in the 2014/15 financial year.

New stores in its other businesses are also being established, with 25 planned before the end of calendar 2013.

But the company has not increased its expectations for profit growth in the 2013/14 year, due to the expenses associated with opening and running new stores.

Retail Food Group still expects its net profit will grow by about 15 per cent from the previous year’s $32 million.

The strong expansion plans are expected to deliver financial benefits in the 2014/15 year, the company said.

Tony Alford, CEO, also said the company is currently looking into several acquisition opportunities.

“There currently exists a plethora of motivated vendors within the market, and the present environment presents an attractive period for the company to grow via acquisitive activity,” he said.


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