Lenard’s records 16 per cent profit growth, ambitious growth targets set for ’09

Posted by Isobel Drake on 17th March 2009

Specialty chicken retailer Lenard’s has reported the average annual operating profit of each franchise rose 16 per cent in the six months ended 31 December 2008, while average store sales fell just short of $1 million, a 4 per cent increase over 2007.

Founded by Lenard Poulter in 1987, Lenard’s is now Australia’s largest speciality chicken retailer, with an annual turnover of $146 million. Their growth plans began taking flight last year in an endeavour to capitalise on demand for premium food and the convenience of simple home cooking.

The first phase of growth was marked by the return of the remaining Master Franchise licenses for the South Australia/Northern Territory and Victoria regions. This followed the return of the Western Australia Master Franchise license earlier in 2008 and enabled Lenard’s to place a greater emphasis on the growth of the traditional store base through existing and new Franchise Owners.

Lenard’s expansion plans were then further fuelled by the announcement that Blue Sky Private Equity bought a stake in the company, before they embarked on the launch of the third phase – the new ‘Lenard’s Extra’ concept.

“This is a natural extension of the already successful core business, selling a complete range of Lenard’s existing fresh and value added chicken products, as well as fresh and value-added beef, lamb and pork products. A huge variety of Lenard’s Kitchen heat-and-serve products is also available,” company founder Lenard Poulter said.

“This is a very exciting time at Lenard’s – The establishment of the new Lenard’s Extra concept, bringing back the last of the Master Franchise territories and the continued development of our supermarket ‘store in store’ concept, are all projects designed to strengthen the business and provide future growth opportunities for all stakeholders, especially our existing Franchise Owners.”

The store-in-store concept refers to their deal with Metcash to expand the Lenard’s brand nationally through IGA Supermarkets.