SOUTH AFRICA – Spur Corporation entrenched its dominance in the family restaurant market announcing on Thursday it would launch a slew of new outlets across SA and the rest of the continent.

South Africans flooded its outlets, which include flagship Spur Steak Ranches, pizza and pasta brand Panarottis and fish brand John Dory’s in the second half of last year, despite struggling economic growth, pressures on their disposable income and competition from other restaurant chains.

CEO Pierre van Tonder said on Thursday at the release of the group’s financial results for the six months to December, that there were plans to open a further 21 restaurants across its brands in SA.

A further five new franchised outlets would be opened in other parts of Africa. These 26 new outlets would begin trading by the end of the June 2015 financial year. Spur said total restaurant sales were up 14.1% to R3.2bn from a year earlier, and its interim dividend per share rose 8.8% to 62c.

The aggressive rollout of outlets includes beefing up the addition to Spur’s hamburger offering, gourmet group RocoMamas.

The group bought RocoMamas last month. It plans to increase the number of RocoMamas outlets from five to nine before the end of June.

RocoMamas allows shoppers to design their own burgers.

“RocoMamas is a very cleverly run business. I am glad we could add it to our offering. It appeals to a customer looking for something more hip than what is offered at traditional burger restaurants. We are getting many students and ’twentysomethings’ but also families who like the stylish branding and alternative music played in branches,” Mr van Tonder said.

Spur reported a 28.2% decline in headline earnings per share to 61.15c in the reporting period compared with the six months to December from the year-earlier period.

A share-based payment expense of R32.96m relating to its broad-based black economic empowerment deal with Grand Parade Investments (GPI) had affected its performance. If the effect of the share-based payment charge were excluded, diluted headline earnings per share increased 15.2%.

GPI, which has the franchise rights to operate US fast-food giant Burger King in SA, has a 10% stake in Spur.

Vunani Securities analyst Anthony Clark said Spur was “doing well and better than most of the competition”.

March 1, 2015;