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UPDATE 1-Australia's Retail Food Group cuts earnings forecast, names new CEO
June 21, 2017 / 2:59 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Retail Food Group cuts earnings forecast, names new CEO

(Adds background, management changes, share price movement)

June 21 (Reuters) - Australian food and beverage franchisor Retail Food Group cut its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday, sending its shares down as much as 10 percent in early trade, and named a new CEO.

The holder of brands like Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Donut King said in a statement it expected underlying net profit growth of 15 percent for the financial year to June 30, down from previous guidance of 20 percent growth.

RFG, which has relied on growing through bolt-on acquisitions and increasing its store network, said it had been affected by hurdles in franchise growth overseas and supply chain issues at its domestic Michel’s Patisserie cafe chain.

Domestic growth was in-line with the prior year, with gains in most brands offsetting a decline for Michel’s Patisserie.

RFG said it would take a A$22 million ($17 million) non-cash writedown in its FY17 earnings following a reassesment of the recoverability of marketing advances to Michel’s and its Pizza Capers business, partly due to a reduced number of outlets.

The company said Managing Director Andre Nell will take over as chief executive later this year following the retirement of Gary Alford after two decades with the company.

RFG said was optimistic about its future performance and had enough financial headroom to expand its operations via acquisitions.

RFG shares were trading down 9.4 percent at A$4.61 by early afternoon, in a broader market down 1.2 percent. The stock has fallen some 34 percent so far this year.

$1 = 1.3201 Australian dollars Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin

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