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Sphera Franchise Group sales grew by 24.6%, while the profit increased by 4.5% in 2018

Key events:
– In Romania, same store sales of KFC restaurants grew 11% year-on-year last year, 2018 being the fifth year in a row of double-digit growth, driven by the continued strong performance of the Drive-Thru format, as well as by the better performance of the restaurants located outside Bucharest
– Restaurant operating profit reached RON 103.2 million in the year 2018, up 4.5% compared with the previous year
– Net profit reached RON 34.0 million, 4.5% higher than in the previous year

Sphera Franchise Group (“Sphera”) reports consolidated sales amounting to RON 771 million for the year 2018, representing a 24.6% increase compared to the pro forma sales of the previous year. The main drivers of this performance were the growth in sales of KFC restaurants, up 21.5% year-on-year, which contributed 16.8 percentage points to the pro forma sales growth rate, and the 9.5% advance of Pizza Hut restaurants sales compared to the previous year, which had a contribution of 1.7 percentage points to the proforma sales growth rate, as well as KFC Italy, with a contribution of 4.2 percentage points to the proforma sales growth rate.

Restaurant operating profit improved 4.5% year-on-year to RON 103.2 million, normalized EBITDA rose 4.5% to RON 72.4 million, while net profit grew 4.5% to RON 34.0 million.

“Sphera’s continued growth across its businesses is hugely encouraging with sales reaching 771 million Lei. KFC Romania leads the way with a 21.5% growth, but all businesses in Romania, Moldova and Italy have enjoyed growth. We have opened 25 new stores last year, of which 16 are KFC locations across our businesses in Romania and Italy. In Italy we opened 8 stores in the year, from a base of 2 stores at the end of 2017, whilst Taco Bell has more than doubled its store base with 3 units opened during the year to take us to 5 in total, including our first store outside Bucharest, opened in Cluj. This overall performance has led to a normalized EBITDA of RON 72 million, up 4.5% on 2017,” said Mark Hilton, Sphera Franchise Group CEO.

In Q4-2018, consolidated sales increased by 27.8% compared to Q4-2017; the slight acceleration in sales growth compared to the 26.6% year-on-year increase in Q3-2018 was mainly due to the increased contribution coming from KFC Italy and Taco Bell operations as well as higher growth in KFC Romania sales.

Restaurant operating profit increased 18.7% year-on-year to RON 28.6 million in Q4-2018, normalized EBITDA improved 63.5% to RON 19.0 million, while net profit reached RON 1.6 million compared to a loss of RON 9.4 million in Q4-2017.

“This growth in an increasingly challenging business environment is testament to the hard work and skill of our entire workforce focused on providing the best quality food and experience to our customers across all our restaurants. I am very grateful and proud of all our teams. These results have only been possible thanks to them and they ensure we are well placed for the year ahead,” Mark Hilton added.