Franchise Brands acquires Willow Pumps to expand Metro Rod network

October 10, 2019

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) has acquired Willow Pumps to expand its existing drain care and repair business, Metro Rod.

Bringing the two brands together, the long-term goal is to provide a “water in, waste out” range of plumbing-related services to commercial customers in the UK.

 
Franchise Brands, an international franchisor providing the same support services to a range of businesses, is acquiring 100% of Willow Pumps for an initial £5mln and a deferred consideration of up to £7.5mln, payable over the next five years based on performance.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

Willow Pumps recorded revenue of £12.4mln, underlying earnings (EBITDA) of £1.6mln and a profit before tax of £1.1mln in the year ended 31 December 2018.

The water pump supply, installation and servicing business will complement the services provided by Metro Rod, a drain and care repair business acquired two years ago, at the centre of a five-year strategy.

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Metro Rod, where the plan is to boost fee income four-fold by 2023, recorded 15% sales growth in the year-to-date, while last year they were up 6%.

The company will open “shortly” a new depot in Lincoln and began trading at its first Norther Ireland facility last week for Metro Rod.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

Shares were up 11.58% to 92.05p in the early morning.

By Giulia Bottaro

Source: Proactive Investors

Franchise Brands profit up 27% amid higher fee revenue

July 26, 2019

Repairs and maintenance franchiser Franchise Brands booked a 27% rise in first-half profit underpinned by higher fee and direct labour income.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June rose to £1.8m, as revenue rose 19% to £20.1m.

 
The company declared an interim dividend of 0.30p per share, up 43% on-year.

‘Franchise Brands has delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2019 driven primarily by Metro Rod’s accelerating rate of growth,’ executive chairman Stephen Hemsley said.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

‘All of our profitable, cash generative B2C brands have seen a substantial improvement in franchise recruitment compared to the challenging second half of last year.’

‘ChipsAway is increasingly well positioned for the rapid changes underway in the automotive sector in particular in relation to ADAS and the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles.’

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

‘The outlook for the group therefore remains very positive, with the combination of accelerating organic growth and the potential for prudently financed, earnings-enhancing complementary acquisition opportunities giving us the confidence of delivering further significant growth in earnings and dividends in the current year and beyond.’

At 2:41pm: (LON:FRAN) Franchise Brands Plc share price was +6p at 90p

Source: Shares Magazine

Franchise Brands’ first-half profits pushed higher by Metro Rod

July 24, 2019

Franchise acquired Metro Rod a couple of years ago, and it is now starting to reap the reward of its hefty investment in the business.

A strong showing from its Metro Rod drain care and repair business helped profits at Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) soar in the first half of the year.

 
Pre-tax profit rose 27% to £1.8mln (H1 18: £1.4mln) in the six months ended 30 June, on revenue of £20.1mln (H1 18: £16.8mln) – a 19% year-on-year increase.

READ: Franchise Brands ready to add to network as Metro Rod beds in
Metro Rod, which Franchise acquired two years ago, was the standout performer, with sales growth accelerating to 15%. Underlying earnings jumped by 44% to £1.73mln (H1 18: £1.20mln).

Car body repairer ChipsAway also saw earnings rise in the period, more than offsetting drops in profitability at OvenClean and dog groomer Barking Mad.

Both OvenClean and Barking Mad recruited fewer new franchisees in the half, while the latter has also been reorganised following the departure of the founder.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

Given the surge in group profits, Franchise has upped its interim by 43% to 0.30p per share (H1 18: 0.21p).

Franchise recruitment picking up
“Franchise Brands has delivered a strong performance in the first half of 2019 driven primarily by Metro Rod’s accelerating rate of growth,” said executive chairman Stephen Helmsley.

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We have made significant progress with our strategy at Metro Rod and have begun to realise the benefits of our investment in infrastructure – in particular IT – that is starting to unlock sales growth, efficiencies and improved customer service, enhancing both corporate and franchisee profitability.

He added: “All of our profitable, cash generative B2C brands have seen a substantial improvement in franchise recruitment compared to the challenging second half of last year and ChipsAway is increasingly well positioned for the rapid changes underway in the automotive sector in particular in relation to ADAS and the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles.”

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

Looking ahead, Helmsley said he “remains very positive” on the outlook for the business and expects to deliver “further significant growth” in the current year and beyond.

Source: Proactive Investors

Franchise Brands on the prowl for acquisitions

March 15, 2019

“2018 has been a period of significant change for the team at Franchise Brands as we have integrated Metro Rod and further developed our shared support services of IT, finance, marketing and franchisee recruitment,” said executive chairman, Stephen Hemsley.

The multi-brand franchisor, Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), is looking forward to the year with confidence after making a strong start to the year.

The company behind franchise brands ChipsAway and Metro Rod said it was looking for more acquisition opportunities now that the integration of Metro Rod is complete.

2019 has started encouragingly, with a good trading performance across the networks in the first two months of the year and order intake at Metro Rod ahead of 2018. The level of franchise enquiries at ChipsAway, Ovenclean and Barking Mad is also significantly ahead of last year, the group revealed.

Franchise Brands reported a 43% increase in revenue to £35.5mln in 2018 from £24.9mln in 2017.

Fee income increased by 41% to £17.9mln from £12.7mln the year before.

Related: Franchise Brands lays the foundations for another 10 years

Adjusted profit before tax, which strips out what the company considers to be exceptional items, surged 36% to £2.9mln from £2.1mln the year before, while statutory profit before tax turned positive at £2.3mln versus a loss in 2017 of £0.1mln.

Cash generated from operations shot up to £2.9mln from £0.7mln in 2017. Net debt at the end of the year had narrowed to £5.0mln from £6.3mln at the end of 2017.

Dividend rises

Shareholders have been rewarded with a 34% increase in the total dividend for the year (0.67p, up from 0.5p the year before) after the final dividend was whacked up to 0.46p from 0.33p the previous year.

“The investment we have made in Metro Rod to support our Vision 2023 strategy is beginning to deliver tangible benefits which I expect to become increasingly more visible in the current year and beyond as we continue to unlock the clear potential for the business,” said Stephen Hemsley, the executive chairman.

“We will consider the selective acquisition of reasonably valued and earnings enhancing franchise businesses that can leverage our core functions, and complementary drainage and plumbing businesses which expand our scope of works,” he added.

Shares in Franchise Brands opened 6.6% higher at 72.5p.

Source: Proactive Investors

Franchise Brands continues share buy-back programme into 2019

January 6, 2019

Franchise Brands plc (LON:FRAN) has announced a continuation of its share buy-back programme, with up to £200,000 of shares to be purchased before June 30.

The cash generative group said the programme is an offset to the dilutive impact of employee share option awards.

Related: Franchise Brands plc lays the foundations for another 10 years

It is being assisted by Dowgate Capital Stockbrokers which will carry out on-market purchases of shares on the company’s behalf, including during closed periods for the company.

READ: Franchise Brands plc lays the foundations for another 10 years

The company owns four main brands – drains specialist Metro Rod, car body repairer ChipsAway, dog groomer Barking Mad and Ovenclean – and it has just celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Metro Rod, the largest of the franchise operations, completed 88,000 jobs during the interim period to March, said Hemsley, a 15% rise on the same period a year ago.

Related: Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) Declares Dividend Increase – GBX 0.33 Per Share

In the first half of the current year, MetroRod, which deals with problems with commercial premises, generated MSF income of £3.5mln, or a run-rate of £7mln per year, but the plan is to boost this four-fold.

Source: Proactive Investors

Franchise Brands lays the foundations for another 10 years

December 21, 2018

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) has just celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Established in 2008 by Stephen Hemsley and Nigel Wray, the business has come a long way, says executive chairman Hemsley, but there is lot more to come, he adds.

Watch: Franchise Brands PLC celebrates 10 years … and counting!

The business comprises four main brands – drains specialist Metro Rod, car body repairer ChipsAway, dog groomer Barking Mad and Ovenclean.

Metro Rod, the largest of the franchise operations, completed 88,000 jobs during the interim period to March, said Hemsley, a 15% rise on the same period a year ago.

But this is only the start of the expansion plans, he adds.

MetroRod has been in operation for 30 years but only became a franchise relatively recently, with the business being run as a contracting subsidiary of its owners prior to that.

‘Vision 2023’

That dulled the entrepreneurial spirit of the 40 or so franchisees, says Hemsley, something he is now working hard to address.

Franchise Brands has every incentive to instigate a change.

The company charges a master service fee of 22.5%, so higher revenues feed straight through to the PLC bottom line.

In the first half of the current year, MetroRod, which deals with problems with commercial premises, generated MSF income of £3.5mln, or a run-rate of £7mln per year, but the plan is to boost this four-fold.

That might sound ambitious, but Hemsley says in most regions it serves, market penetration by its franchisees is around 1-2%.

Any significant improvement would have a major impact on the profitability on both the local franchisee and PLC.

Entrepreneurial spirit returns to Metro Rod

Franchise Brands acquired MetroRod in 2017 and Helmsley admits it has taken a bit of time to get the franchisees back into the mindset of entrepreneurs and grow their businesses, but the penny has started to drop now.

The company has been spending heavily on IT upgrades and the work management system to help the whole process, the benefits of which should also start to show through in the coming year.

IT costs will come down and revenues should rise as order response times improve.

“Metro Rod is capable of significant growth and the investment required to unlock this potential is underway and bearing fruit,” Hemsley said with the interims in July.

Related: Franchise Brands continues share buy-back programme into 2019

For the group overall, interim revenue jumped by 88% to £16.8mln, while underlying profits improved 41% to £1.4mln.

Recurring management fees rose by 86% to £5.4mln, while on a statutory basis, the group swung from a loss of £200,000 to a profit of £1.4mln.

Earnings on the rise

For the full year, brokers have pencilled in underlying profits of £2.8mln, which puts the shares on an earnings multiple of about 23, but that drops to 19 the following year on broker Allenby Capital’s forecast.

At 68p, Franchise Brands is valued at £53.5mln.

Source: Proactive Investors

‘Pleasing progress’ at Franchise Brands

July 27, 2018

Revenue and profits have jumped at Franchise Brands, the Kidderminster based group, thanks to its £28m takeover deal for drain cleaning business MetroRod.

It become its fourth franchise business and has helped push revenues up 88% to £16.8m in the six months to June with Franchise Brands swinging to a £1.4m pre-tax profit from a £200,000 loss a year ago due to the costs of the MetroRod deal.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

Executive chairman Stephen Hemsley said: “The first half of 2018 has been a period of pleasing progress for Franchise Brands with the business as a whole performing as expected.

“Metro Rod is capable of significant growth and I am very encouraged that we have started to see the benefits coming through of the new strategy. The investment we are making will help unlock Metro Rod’s potential; new technology is already allowing us to automate processes, reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience.”

The group also owns car body repairer ChipsAway, cleaning business Ovenclean and dog sitters Barking Mad, all of which “performed solidly” in the first half of the year

Mr Hemsley added: “The outlook for the group remains very positive and I look forward to the remainder of 2018 with confidence.”

Source: Express and Star

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) Declares Dividend Increase – GBX 0.33 Per Share

May 20, 2018

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) announced a dividend on Thursday, March 22nd, Upcoming.Co.Uk reports. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 26th will be given a dividend of GBX 0.33 ($0.00) per share on Tuesday, May 15th. This represents a dividend yield of 0.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, April 26th. This is a boost from Franchise Brands’s previous dividend of $0.17. The official announcement can be seen at this link.

Franchise Brands remained flat at $GBX 84 ($1.14) during mid-day trading on Thursday, according to MarketBeat. 10,029 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 35,951. Franchise Brands has a 12-month low of GBX 48 ($0.65) and a 12-month high of GBX 107 ($1.45).

In related news, insider David Poutney acquired 25,000 shares of Franchise Brands stock in a transaction on Monday, May 14th. The stock was bought at an average cost of GBX 78 ($1.06) per share, for a total transaction of £19,500 ($26,451.44).

About Franchise Brands

Franchise Brands plc engages in franchising and related activities primarily in the United Kingdom. It provides automotive repair services comprise bumper scuffs, paintwork scratches, minor dents, and kerbed alloy wheel repairs under the ChipsAway brand name; and oven cleaning services include cleaning of domestic oven brands and models, such as electric and gas ovens, ranges, microwaves, hobs, extractor fans, and barbecues, as well as various removable components consisting of racks, doors, and glasses under the Ovenclean brand.

Source: Week Herald

Franchise Brands hails “record” start to the year

April 26, 2018

Kidderminster-headquartered Franchise Brands has revealed that its trading over the first three months of the year has been ahead of expectations.

The listed company has added that the number of jobs completed by Metro Rod and Metro Plumb was up by 16 per cent year-on-year to record levels.

The trading update to 31 March comes after the business revealed last month that its revenues for the year to 31 December 2017 increased to £24.3m compared to £4.9m 12 months earlier while pre-tax profits also rose to £2.1m from £1.2m.

Executive chairman Stephen Hemsley said: “Group trading in the three months to 31 March 2018 has been marginally ahead of management’s expectations.

“In particular, the number of jobs completed by Metro Rod and Metro Plumb was up by 16 per cent year-on-year to record levels, although the average order size was slightly lower due to the heavy rain and snow resulting in more lower value emergency plumbing and drainage jobs.

“Costs were well-controlled with the headcount at Metro Rod falling by 16 per cent year-on-year, as the benefits of the IT investment in that business start to become apparent.

“The board looks forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.”

Source: Insider Media

Franchise Brands PLC (FRAN) Plans Dividend Increase – GBX 0.33 Per Share

April 23, 2018

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) declared a dividend on Thursday, March 22nd, Upcoming.Co.Uk reports. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 26th will be given a dividend of GBX 0.33 ($0.00) per share on Tuesday, May 15th. This represents a dividend yield of 0.47%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 26th. This is a boost from Franchise Brands’s previous dividend of $0.17. The official announcement can be seen at this link.

FRAN stock opened at GBX 70.50 ($1.01) on Friday. Franchise Brands has a 52-week low of GBX 48 ($0.69) and a 52-week high of GBX 107 ($1.53).

About Franchise Brands

Franchise Brands plc engages in franchising and related activities primarily in the United Kingdom. It provides automotive repair services comprise bumper scuffs, paintwork scratches, minor dents, and kerbed alloy wheel repairs under the ChipsAway brand name; and oven cleaning services include cleaning of domestic oven brands and models, such as electric and gas ovens, ranges, microwaves, hobs, extractor fans, and barbecues, as well as various removable components consisting of racks, doors, and glasses under the Ovenclean brand.

Source: Ledger Gazette