Takeover of Wimpy and Steers owner weighed down by Covid-19 restrictions and civil unrest


Steers owner Famous Brands’ performance has improved over the past six months

Wimpy owner Famous Brands says its resumption of performance was hampered by the July riots, Covid-19 restrictions and a tough South African economy.

On Wednesday, the group released its results for the six-month period ended Aug. 31, indicating that its revenue had increased by 50% to 3 billion rand. Its earnings per share rose 140% to 97 cents, while its operating profit rose 302% to Rand 222 million.

“Door-to-door delivery has played a critical role in the group’s success over the past six months, with 14% year-over-year revenue growth from own and third-party aggregators,” Famous Brands said.

However, Famous Brands has said it will not pay an interim dividend because it focuses on reducing its debt.

The group owns fast food brands like Steers, Debonairs, Fishaways and Milky Lane, as well as casual dining establishments Wimpy and Mugg & Bean. Its flagship brands include Vovo Telo, Turn n Tender, Mythos and Salsa Grill.

Besides South Africa, it is also present in the rest of Africa, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

In the local market, Covid-19 restrictions which included limitations and bans on the alcohol trade, have had an impact on the group. The unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July left 109 stores damaged, while 99 restaurants were declared non-operational.

Famous Brands also sustained damage at its logistics facilities in Westmead, KwaZulu-Natal. However, he managed to open 55 stores at the end of August.

The Steers owner said he has since provided franchisees with royalty relief, assistance with insurance claims and bridging funding.


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