Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams is the Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

BurgerFuel profits jump

BurgerFuel store in Saudi Arabia. Photo / Supplied
BurgerFuel store in Saudi Arabia. Photo / Supplied

Margin improvements in BurgerFuel's eight Middle Eastern operations helped boost the fast food operator's profits in its annual result.

And chief executive Josef Roberts says the Auckland-based company hopes to open about six new stores in New Zealand in its current financial year.

BurgerFuel yesterday reported a net profit of $708,360 for the 12 months to March 31, well up on its $33,513 maiden profit a year earlier.

Company revenue rose 24 per cent on the previous year to $10.3 million, while total store system sales, which include franchisees' revenue, lifted 15.5 per cent to $38.1 million.

Roberts said pricing improvements in the Middle East, where system sales rose 110 per cent to $8.6 million, contributed to the profit rise.

"As the concept's become more well-known [in the Middle East] we've been able to increase the value of it a bit further in these last 12 months," Roberts said.

The company opened six new stores across the region in the year to March 31 and now operates eight restaurants in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Roberts said BurgerFuel hoped to open more than six restaurants in the Middle East in the current financial year, including in Qatar and Egypt.

In New Zealand, system sales rose 5 per cent on the prior year to $28.4 million.

A new store was opened on Wellington's Cuba St in April and Roberts said the firm hoped to set up about "half a dozen" stores in the North Island in its current financial year.

He said BurgerFuel, which operates 28 North Island stores but lacks a South Island footprint, would open a restaurant in Christchurch in its current or next financial year.

System sales fell almost 40 per cent to $1.1 million in Australia, largely due to the closure of a company-owned store in Sydney's Kings Cross in November 2010.

BurgerFuel said Australia had potential as a market, but its directors thought expansion other regions such as the Middle East should take priority.

As at March 31 the firm's net asset position was $4 million, which included cash reserves of $2.3 million, the company said, adding that it had no debt.


- NZ Herald

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