Sphera Franchise Group (“Sphera”) reported sales of RON 444.5 million for the first half of the year, an increase of 46% compared to the same period of last year. The Group’s consolidated sales in the second quarter increased by 119%, compared to the second quarter of last year, reaching RON 233.1 million, being the best quarter in the company’s history. Thus, Sphera Franchise Group ended the first six months with normalized EBITDA of RON 30.7 million, increasing by 1,867% and a net profit of RON 5.2 million, by 123% above the level of the first half of last year.
KFC Romania and KFC Moldova ended the first semester with EBITDA of RON 38.4 million, respectively 0.8 million and a net profit of RON 26.8 million, respectively RON 0.5 million. Taco Bell Romania registered restaurant operating profit of RON 0.4 million in the first half of the year, but the general and administrative expenses as well as the financial costs led to a net loss of RON 1.8 million.
The performance of KFC Italy continued to be affected by the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the Italian authorities. Thus, although in the second quarter sales increased by 115% compared to the second quarter of 2020, at the end of first half of the year, KFC Italy registered a net loss of 13.5 million lei.
New restaurant concepts
Pizza Hut Romania continued to improve its core performance, recording another period of growth from quarter to quarter, but ended the first six months with a loss of RON 5.6 million. Regarding the development plan of Pizza Hut Romania, following the negotiations with the franchisor Yum!, two new restaurant concepts will be launched on the local market, namely fast-casual delivery and express. Also, in the next three years, 10 restaurants will be inaugurated, as follows: 3 locations in 2021, 3 in 2022 and 4 in 2023.
“After a period of instability caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely affected HoReCa industry, this year we see the first signs of stability and recovery. The excellent results recorded in the second quarter give us confidence and optimism in the further investment and development of our network. In this context, we are happy to announce the launch of new types of Pizza Hut restaurants on the local market: fast-casual delivery and express. Unlike classic Pizza Hut restaurants, the fast-casual concept offers customers the opportunity to order at the counter and eat either at the table or elsewhere. It is a concept that addresses customers who do not have time for the formal ceremony of a restaurant, who prefer the convenience and speed of being able to sit down and enjoy their meal, ” said Călin Ionescu, CEO of Sphera.
In the second quarter, deliveries through Sphera’s own service, but also through online platforms such as Glovo, Food Panda, Takeaway or Tazz accounted for over 29% of total sales, i.e., RON 68.3 million. Compared to the first quarter, the share of delivery orders decreased by 2pp, as result of relaxation on dining restrictions.
“Second quarter of 2021 brought record sales but despite the surge in turnover, we kept track of restaurant and administrative expenses, which grew at a slower pace than topline. The evolution so far is in line with our expectations, and we therefore maintain our goals in terms of turnover and profit for this year. Despite a difficult 2020, we are satisfied with accelerated recovery of our business as well as our performance on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. In this context, we are happy to offer to our shareholders, after a short break, a dividend. We are also optimist regarding the future liquidity of our shares, considering the introduction of Market Making services earlier this month,” added Valentin Budeș, CFO of Sphera.
On August 19th, 2021, the Ordinary General Shareholder Meeting of the Group approved the distribution of dividends in the total amount of RON 35 million, from the undistributed profit from 2019 and 2020. The gross dividend per share is RON 0.9021. The ex-date for dividend is September 16th, with payment date being September 30th, 2021.
In the first half of this year, Sphera inaugurated 4 restaurants: 2 KFC restaurants in Brăila (a Drive Thru unit) and Sfântu Gheorghe (a food court unit in Sepsi Value Center), 1 restaurant in Italy – the first Drive Thru abroad in Pomezia, Lazio region, and a Taco Bell restaurant in Iași. At the end of this semester, Sphera operated 161 restaurants – 8 more compared to the same period last year, of which 140 in Romania, 19 in Italy and 2 in the Republic of Moldova. At the end of June, Sphera had 4,392 employees, of which 4,058 in Romania, 253 in Italy and 81 in the Republic of Moldova.