Francais business to change hands

Francais business to change hands

Meiji Holdings, the Japanese food group, has sold local confectionery retail business Francais to candy maker Kotobuki Spirits.

Francais sells baked confectionery products in outlets that are located in various department stores, notably in Kanagawa prefecture and Kanto region.

Meiji said it had struck the deal to "encourage Francais' business advancement and further growth". In a statement, Meiji said Kotobuki Spirits focuses on "premium gift sweets" and with the deal would grow "rapidly" by expanding regional-branded products throughout Japan.

However, Meiji provided financial results for Francais for the unit's last three financial years that detailed falling sales and widening losses.

In the year to the end of March, Francais generated net sales of JPY4.7bn (US$38.7m), which led to an operating loss of JPY48m and a net loss of JPY81m.

In the previous 12 months, the division posted net sales of JPY4.76bn, an operating loss of JPY111bn and net income of JPY136m.

For the year to 31 March 2013, Francais booked net sales of JPY5.13bn, operating profit of JPY41bn and net income of JPY23bn. 

The deal is expected to close on 22 January.