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Fourth-quarter net earnings rose by 26% to $1.1m from $0.85m in the fourth quarter of 2005. RevenuesRocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, the Colorado-based chocolate and confectionery manufacturer and retail franchisor, has posted record earnings for the fourth quarter and the full 2006 fiscal year. for the fourth quarter increased by 19% to US$8.1m, with comparable store sales at franchised retail locations rising by 3.1%. The company said the improved performance reflected increased customer traffic along with increased consumer recognition of its brand name.
Net income for the full year increased by 23% to $4.1m, on sales 14.5% higher at $28.1m. The company said that total weight of product purchased from the factory by franchisees increased by 6.4% in 2006, owing to the net addition of 24 stores, while comparable store business in weight terms was more or less on a par with last year. Comparable-store revenues at franchised stores rose by around 2.5%.
“We are very pleased to report another year of record earnings,” said chief operating officer Bryan Merryman. “Our franchisees opened 38 new stores during fiscal 2006. This increased the total number of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory locations in operation to 308 as of 28 February 2006, and widened our lead as the largest chain of retail chocolate stores in the United States.
“During fiscal 2006, we continued to generate an after-tax return on shareholders’ equity that would, we believe, be the envy of most publicly traded companies and our balance sheet has never been stronger than it was at the end of the fiscal year.”