Famous Brands makes new board appointment, expects sharp improvement in headline earnings

SOUTH AFRICA – South African restaurant franchisor, Famous Brands, has announced the appointment of Ms Busisiwe Mathe as an independent Non-executive Director to the Board of Directors of the company, effective from 20 October 2021.

Busisiwe, who holds a B. Com Accounting and a Higher Diploma in Accounting from the University of Witwatersrand, is a Chartered Accountant and a registered member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

She has held several leadership positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) including as Chairperson of the South African Governing Board, member of the Africa Governing Board and Chairperson of the Human Capital Sub-Committee of the Africa Governing Board.

Between July 2014 and June 2021, she served as Cyber Security and Privacy South Africa leader and Cyber Security and Privacy Africa leader, respectively during which time she built and co-ordinated the PWC cyber security and data privacy business across the African continent.

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She has worked in both the assurance and consulting businesses, during which time she has executed on several responsibilities in decision making capacities simultaneously and has reported internally and externally at board level.

Meanwhile, the branded food services franchisor, expects its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to August 31, 2021 to increase between 329 cents and 349 cents when compared to the prior comparable period.

This would translate in HEPS of between 89-109 cents, compared with the equivalent of a 240 cents per share loss reported at the end of the comparable period last year.

“Across our trading markets, in South Africa, rest of Africa and the Middle East and the UK, the negative financial impact of the pandemic and resultant lockdowns and trading restrictions as well as the civil unrest in SA have materially impacted the group’s results,” a trading statement from the group said.

The performance however recovered in varying degrees across trading markets, but the group’s focus through the interim period continued to be to reduce costs and preserve cash for balance sheet flexibility.

The prior comparable period earnings were impacted by an impairment of R1.3 billion (US$88m) in relation to the group investment in Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the UK.

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The company offloaded the long-time struggling British fast-food operation, to Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), a UK based restaurant group owner.

The purchase gave Boparan a 99-strong portfolio of restaurants in UK with 32 franchised globally.

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