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Coffee bar chain Coffee Republic has gone back to the stock market in the hope of raising a further £707,000 to fund the expansion of its brand with the recruitment of a network of franchisees.

The open offer of 28,278,265 ordinary shares at 2.5p per share comes on top of its announcement last month of a placing of 37,400,000 shares at 0.1p each with the newly installed management team, raising £935,000.

The two sums will go towards the same things, namely expanding the brand at home and overseas largely through franchising, buying new sites, reducing borrowings and as general working capital, said finance director Simon Drysdale.

“We are looking to expand aggressively. Within the UK we are hoping to add another 40 or so sites within the next 12 to 15 months,â€? he added.

The company also posted a trading update that showed sales up 0.8% for the year to 25 March, with sales at franchises up 12.1% against a 5.2% decline at company-operated bars.

The decline at managed bars was described as “disappointingâ€? but the financial drag has diminished, said the company, as the emphasis was now very much on franchising.

Coffee Republic plans to convert all company-owned bars to franchising over time.

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on April 3, 2007 in Franchise Site.

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