Burger Brexit Hit Sends Famous Brands Tumbling Most In 14 Years

By Publications Checkout
Burger Brexit Hit Sends Famous Brands Tumbling Most In 14 Years

Famous Brands slumped the most in 14 years after the South African fast-food chain owner said its UK Gourmet Burger Kitchen business, acquired months after Britain voted to leave the European Union, may only return to profit in the next financial year.

The stock dropped as much as 17 per cent in Johannesburg, the biggest intraday decline since 11 June, 2003. First-half earnings per share fell as much as 60 per cent in the six months through August, Famous Brands said in a statement Tuesday. The owner of Steers burgers and Debonairs Pizza said difficult trading conditions also persisted in its home market.

“The U.K. environment with Brexit has turned out to be considerably worse than initially expected,” weighing on the performance of the Gourmet Burger Kitchen chain, said De Wet Schutte, an analyst at Avior Capital Markets. While the timing of the purchase was “unfortunate” in light of the Brexit vote, the investment shouldn’t be judged on the first six months, said Schutte, who has an outperform rating on the stock.

Famous Brands bought Gourmet Burger Kitchen in September last year in a 120 million pound ($158 million) deal and said it remains optimistic that the business will add value in time. It has curtailed the opening of further Gourmet Burger restaurants in the short term, with pre-opening capital costs of about 1 million pounds per store.

News by Bloomberg - edited by Hospitality Ireland