Cooks Global Foods reports progress

Cooks, outside, 409The Cooks Global Foods half year results report progress in business consolidation and the growth of its global footprint and store numbers.

In the six months to September 30, 2014, the unaudited operating net loss was $1.2 million, compared with a pretransformation operating net loss of $0.8 million for period ended September 30, 2013.

Operating income was $4.3 million.

This was derived from Esquires Coffee House revenues of $3.75 million, with revenues from the supply division $0.55 million.

During the period significant costs were incurred relating to developing global presence in the new markets, acquiring the China business and building infrastructure and operational bases to support global growth.

In the six months to September 30, 2014, the company has expanded into two new territories and increased store numbers to 79.

At the report date of December 12 there were 85 stores operating, with the target of 86 stores by the end of March now exceeded with this number projected to be in excess of 90.

The acceleration of the plan has been largely driven by expansion in China and the Middle East.

The company now owns the international Esquires brand rights globally, since the acquisition of the Esquires IP rights in Canada, excluding rights in Australia and New Zealand.

The company has also entered into an agreement to acquire the China Esquires master franchise business, subject to approval by the Chinese government.

It is expected the approval process will be completed by the end of 2014.

The company has also launched a major capital raising campaign, with funds targeted for major capital projects, and with completion before the middle of 2015.

Esquires has 79 coffee houses as at September 30, 2014.

The stores are based in the UK, Ireland, Middle East, and China, with a further three stores added in China, two in Kuwait and one in Bahrain since the report.

By the end of 2014 it is expected a further three stores will open in China and the Middle East.

“With the foundations for Cooks firmly in place, the business is focussed on rapidly and aggressively expanding its network through both natural and acquired growth to achieve critical mass. These are very exciting times for Cooks that present enormous opportunities,” Keith Jackson, Cooks Food Group chairman, said.

“The full acquisition of the China Master Franchise that is expected to be finalised shortly will provide a further opportunity to build a strong business in the huge China market. Esquires has a strong management team in place based in Beijing and a number of excellent business partners in place.”

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