The owner of Gloria Jean’s and Donut King will pull back from its aggressive expansion strategy as its long serving boss hands control to a successor.
Retail Food Group recently hit a milestone of 2,500 outlets across Australia and abroad, with brands including Brumby’s Bakery, Crust Pizza and Pizza Capers, seven times more stores than the 327 outlets it had a decade ago.
Under managing director Tony Alford, RFG has been gobbling up cafes and fast food chains to become Australia’s largest owner of retail food franchises.
Its most recent acquisitions – Gloria Jean’s, Cafe2U and Di Bella Coffee – significantly perked up the group’s earnings in the first half of the 2015/16 financial year.
Mr Alford marked his 20th anniversary with the company, including 17 years as its chief, with news that he will step down on July 1.
He will remain a non-executive director, and RFG’s franchise chief executive Andre Nell will take control.
Mr Nell’s leadership will focus on domestic and international expansion of the group’s current brands, rather than continuing an aggressive acquisitions program.
“Our core focus will be on our existing business,” he told AAP.
“Acquisitions still form part of the strategy but it is not the core part of the strategy.”
Mr Nell was general manager of Michel’s Patisserie when RFG bought that business in 2007.
RFG’s half year net profit rose 34 per cent to $28.9 million, as Gloria Jean’s, Cafe2U and Di Bella Coffee exceeded expectations.
The trio already make up about 42 per cent of RFG’s total earnings.
The group said it still expects full year profit to rise by about 20 per cent.
Shares in Retail Food Group dropped 13 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $4.29.
COFFEE PAYS OFF FOR RETAIL FOOD GROUP
* Net profit up 34pct to $28.9m
* Revenue up 71pct to $166.8m
* Fully franked interim dividend up 1.5 cents to 13 cents