Sphera Franchise Group (“Sphera”) reports consolidated sales of over 1 billion RON in 2021, a historic achievement for the Group, an increase of 41% compared to 2020.
“2022 is a year we look forward to as we mark a series of important events for Sphera Franchise Group: the 25th anniversary of KFC’s presence in Romania, the inauguration of KFC’s 100th local restaurant, 5 years since Sphera was listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and also 5 years since the launch of Taco Bell in Romania. The last two years were marked by the global pandemic, but despite the difficult context, our teams in all three markets have managed to achieve exceptional results. We are ready to begin a new chapter in the history of Sphera Franchise Group, delivering excellent results for all brands and in all markets of activity. Given the context, we are all the more pleased with the recognition received from the FTSE Russell and the inclusion of SFG shares in the FTSE Global Micro Cap index, which will put us on the radar of global institutional investors”, stated Călin Ionescu, CEO of Sphera Franchise Group.
The Group’s consolidated sales in Q4 amounted to RON 271.6 million, an increase of 30% compared to the same quarter of 2020. Sales generated by KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in Romania in the last quarter of 2021 contributed RON 231.1 million, an increase of 24% compared to the same period of 2020. KFC generated revenues totaling RON 234.1 million (an increase of 28% compared to Q4 2020), Pizza Hut – RON 24.7 million (55% increase compared to Q4 2020) and Taco Bell – RON 12.7 million (44% increase compared to Q4 2020).
Sales through own delivery channels, as well as through the online ordering platforms of the aggregators represented 30% in Q4 2021, amounting to RON 82.3 million, which represents an increase of 6 pp, compared to Q3 2021.
“The results recorded in the 4th quarter significantly contributed to the overall result, thus we ended 2021 with consolidated sales of over 1 billion RON, a historical milestone for the Group. We are pleased with the results generated by the Group last year especially in the continuously demanding context which, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, included also rising inflation as well as challenges to the supply chain. We feel that we are coming out of this pandemic stronger than ever and that we have significantly improved our operating model in these last two years. Our cash position is strong, our development plans for 2022 remain ambitious and we are confident about our performance for this year. We are glad that our shareholders are confident in our plans and have therefore approved earlier this month the distribution of dividends in amount of RON 35 million, which will be paid out on May 30, 2022“, said Valentin Budeș, CFO Sphera Franchise Group.
Record annual sales
The historical result of over 1 billion RON registered in 2021 was driven by the sales in Romania, which contributed with 87%, (RON 873.7 million), while sales in Italy contributed with 11% (RON 114.1 million), and the Republic of Moldova with 1% (RON 12, 4 million). The largest contribution to total sales was made by KFC, present across all three markets, which brought 86% of total revenues (RON 861.5 million), followed by Pizza Hut with 9% (RON 90 million) and Taco Bell which contributed with 5% (RON 48.8 million).
In terms of individual performance, in 2021 all the brands on all three markets of activity improved their performance compared to 2020 – Taco Bell sales grew by 65%, KFC Moldova by 43%, KFC Romania by 39%, KFC Italy by 49% and Pizza Hut by 32%.
The Group ended 2021 with restaurant operating profit of RON 85.7 million, a 74% increase compared to 2020.
FTSE Russell announced that the shares of SFG will be included, starting with March 21, 2022, in the FTSE Russell indices covering micro issuers from emerging and developed markets, the FTSE Global Micro Cap index. The inclusion in the FTSE index was part of Sphera strategy to increase the company’s visibility on the international stage, as well as to improve the day-to-day liquidity of its shares.
On February 4, 2022, at the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, a new Board of Directors was elected consisting of Mr Silviu-Gabriel Cârmaciu, Mr Mihai Ene, Mr Lucian Hoancă, Mr Răzvan Lefter and Mr Georgios Repidonis, the mandate being valid until May 30, 2023. Also, the shareholders approved the distribution of dividends in the total amount of RON 35 million, from the undistributed profit from 2020. The gross dividend per share is RON 0.9021. The ex-date is May 6, 2022, the payment date is May 30, 2022.
In 2021, Sphera Franchise Group fulfilled the restaurant development plan agreed with master franchisor, YUM!, and opened 12 new restaurants – 6 KFC restaurants in Romania, 2 KFC restaurants in Italy, 3 Pizza Hut restaurants and 2 Taco Bell restaurants in Romania.
Thus, at the end of 2021, Sphera operated 170 restaurants, 12 restaurants more than at the end of 2020, of which 148 were based in Romania (92 KFC, 22 Pizza Hut, 19 Pizza Hut Delivery and 13 Taco Bell restaurants, 1 Paul restaurant and 1 PHD sub-franchise), 20 KFC restaurants in Italy and 2 KFC restaurants in Moldova. The group has over 4,700 employees.