The day after Britain voted to leave the EU, the markets had a wobble and the outlook seemed bleak. However, in the months that followed the markets have somewhat steadied and Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, has proclaimed that it’s very much a case of “business as usual” for the franchising sector. For one franchise at least, the vote doesn’t seem to have created much of a ripple at all.
Franchise Brands, a group of multi-brand franchisors with a network of over 350 franchisees in 12 countries, has reported strong growth figures in the six months leading up to June 30, 2016, with total revenue up by 10%. It plans to expand following a successful AIM listing on August 5 that raised £2.9m, which the company says was oversubscribed. It has also revealed that its key brands ChipsAway and Ovenclean have continued to trade well after Brexit.
Speaking to Elite Franchise, Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman at Franchise Brands said: “Even in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, funds were – and still are – available to quality companies with attractive growth stories.”
Having lead Domino’s Pizza as its CEO, it’s safe to say he’s got his finger on the pulse of the franchise industry. And while some are predicting a slowdown in bank lending, Hemsley’s prognosis is positive. “The Brexit vote has not changed our view that there are some good opportunities for measured expansion within the franchise industry,” he said. The company is now setting its sights on future acquisitions and attracting talent as well as raising its profile even further by keeping an eye out for businesses with growth potential.
The long-term impact of leaving the EU – when it finally happens – is still very much up for debate. But for now, it seems lenders are still willing to open their pockets for the right franchise.