Franchise operator makes strong progress

Franchise firm

Franchise Brands, the Kidderminster-based franchisor with international operations, has revealed strong performance led by its relatively recent acquisition MetroRod.

In March 2017 it agreed a “transformational” £28m deal for the Macclesfield-based drain clearance business, which became its fourth franchise business.

The impact of MetroRod has increased group revenues by 88% to £16.8m for the six months to June. Its adjusted EBITDA – a measure of operational profitability – increased 46% to £1.8m.

“The first half of 2018 has been a period of pleasing progress for Franchise Brands with the business as a whole performing as expected,” said executive chairman Stephen Hemsley.

“Metro Rod is capable of significant growth and I am very encouraged that we have started to see the benefits coming through of the new strategy. The investment we are making will help unlock Metro Rod’s potential; new technology is already allowing us to automate processes, reduce costs and provide a superior customer experience.”

Franchise Brands also has car body repairer ChipsAway, cleaning business Ovenclean and dog sitters Barking Mad, and the three divisions “performed solidly” during the period.

Helmsley added: “It is encouraging to see further growth in high-margin MSF [Management Service Fee] income across all these brands.”

The outlook “remains very positive”, he said, with the company looking forward to further progress.

Franchise Brands’ share price closed last night at 84p, nearly 70% above its December low when it dipped below 50p.