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May, 26 2015

Debonairs Pizza\'s parent company pulls out of India, earnings up

The group said that it ended the master licence agreement with its partners in India in April and closed the two Debonairs Pizza restaurants in the nation\\\'s largest city, Mumbai.

South African fast-food group Famous Brands has pulled out of India two years after re-entering the nation, said the brand on Monday stated a report by Reuters.

Though looking to expand outside its domestic market as South African consumers continue to be squeezed by high unemployment and sharply rising electricity costs, the brand said it had committed extensive resources to evaluate the company's performance in India before deciding to pull out.

The company, which also has operations in Britain, the Middle East and 16 countries in the rest of Africa, reported a 15 percent rise in headline earnings per share (EPS) to 467 cents in the year to February 28.

Headline EPS, stripping out certain one-off items, is the main profit gauge in South Africa.

The owner of brands such as Steers, Wimpy and Mugg & Bean, re-entered the Indian market in 2013 after opening and closing a pizza restaurant near Delhi in 2003.

But it said on Monday that it ended the master licence agreement with its partners in India in April and closed the two Debonairs Pizza restaurants in the nation's largest city, Mumbai.

The group opened 213 new restaurants in its home market in the year and plans to add a further 202 in the current year, while aiming to add 35 restaurants in the rest of Africa.

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