Nine-Month Diluted E.P.S. Increase 29% to $0.80 Versus $0.62 in Prior-Year Period
DURANGO, Colo./PRNewswire/ — Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (Nasdaq: RMCF – news) today announced higher revenues and earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of FY2002.
For the quarter ended November 30, 2001, non-retail revenues increased 13 percent to $5.4 million, compared with $4.8 million in the third quarter of FY2001. Retail revenues decreased 87 percent to $202,000, reflecting the successful execution of the Company’s strategy to exit its Company-owned store program. On May 1, 2001, the Company completed the conversion of substantially all Company-owned stores to franchised-owned stores in order to focus its resources on supporting and growing its franchise base. Comparable-store sales at franchised stores decreased 2.2% when compared with the third quarter of FY2001.
Net earnings for the most recent quarter increased 11 percent to a record $613,000, compared with $554,000 in the third quarter of the previous fiscal year. Basic earnings per share increased 18 percent to a record $0.33 in the most recent quarter, compared with $0.28 in the third quarter of FY2001. Diluted earnings per share rose 11 percent to a record $0.31 in the third quarter of FY2002, compared with $0.28 in the prior-year period.
For the nine months ended November 30, 2001, non-retail revenues increased 16 percent to $13.4 million, versus $11.5 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. Retail revenues decreased 79 percent to $1.2 million as a result of the Company’s strategy to exit its Company-owned store program. Comparable-store sales at franchised stores for the nine-month period ended November 30, 2001 decreased 0.2% when compared with the year-earlier period.
Net earnings increased 23 percent to a record $1.6 million for the nine months ended November 30, 2001, compared with $1.3 million during the same period in FY2001. Basic earnings per share improved 37 percent to a record $0.85 during the first nine months of FY2002, compared with $0.62 in the nine months ended November 30, 2000. Diluted earnings per share rose 29 percent to a record $0.80 in the nine months ended November 30, 2001, compared with $0.62 in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.
“We are pleased to report record earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2002,” stated Bryan J. Merryman, Chief Operating Officer of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. “Following the successful conversion of our remaining Company-owned stores to franchised retail outlets, we have been able to focus on new merchandising and marketing programs in support of our franchisees. Continued growth in factory product sales and other non-retail revenues, combined with lower operating costs, allowed our pretax profit margins to expand to 17.4% of revenues in the first nine months of fiscal 2002, compared with 12.1% in the year-earlier period.”
“We recently unveiled a new retail store concept that has been greeted with enthusiasm by patrons of the seven Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchised stores that incorporate the new contemporary look. We have also redesigned our corporate logo and the packaging for our gift line of chocolates and confections. The opening of twenty-one new franchised stores during the first nine months of fiscal 2002 exceeded corporate objectives of twenty new store openings for the full year.”
“While our franchisees witnessed a temporary decline in same-store sales, particularly in those stores located in tourist destination areas, following the September 11th terrorist attacks sales appear to have recovered at most of our franchised stores in recent weeks,” continued Merryman. “We currently expect to achieve record earnings for the quarter and fiscal year ending February 28, 2002.”
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc., headquartered in Durango, Colorado, is an international franchiser of gourmet chocolate and confection stores and a manufacturer of an extensive line of premium chocolates and other confectionery products. The Company’s common stock is listed on The Nasdaq National Market under the symbol “RMCF”.
This press release contains forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially include, without limitation, seasonality, consumer interest in the Company’s products, general economic conditions, consumer trends, costs and availability of raw materials, competition and the effect of government regulations.
For further information, contact Bryan J. Merryman, COO/CFO, (970) 259-0554, or RJ Falkner & Company, Inc., Investor Relations Counsel at (880) 377-9893 or via email at email@example.com.
SOURCE: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.