Spur loses UK ap­petite

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Opening Bell -

Peren­ni­ally prof­itable restau­rant and fast-food fran­chisor Spur Corp has qui­etly ex­ited its po­si­tions in the UK.

Ac­cord­ing to Spur’s web­site, the UK op­er­a­tions were closed in July. The com­pany will now fo­cus its in­ter­na­tional en­deav­ours on Africa, the Mid­dle East, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

The de­ci­sion in­volved clos­ing the Spur Steak & Grill restau­rants in Staines, Dublin and Belfast as well as Spur RBW Corby.

While a re­treat is al­ways tough to digest, Spur share­hold­ers may ap­pre­ci­ate that the com­pany’s Bri­tish thrust never im­pinged on the longer-term re­turns gen­er­ated by Spur’s core brands in SA.

The con­ser­va­tive ap­proach to in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion — and, per­haps more im­por­tantly, the will­ing­ness of ex­ec­u­tives to swal­low their pride in the UK — should go a long way to re­as­sure share­hold­ers that other off­shore thrusts will not be to the detri­ment of Spur’s re­li­able cash flows and its gen­er­ous div­i­dend serv­ings.

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