Franchise Brands PLC executive chairman Stephen Hemsley told Proactive's Stephen Gunnion that , despite seeing some softer demand during the summer, the B2B businesses of the company are trading at record levels.
Contributing factors for this dip in summer demand include unusually poor UK weather in July and August and a general economic slowdown in Europe. However, there was a notable uptick in the fourth quarter, with October and November registering strong months for the business. The acquisition of Pirtek in April this year has been beneficial, even with the challenges of managing acquisitions. Hemsley expressed satisfaction with Pirtek's integration into the Franchise Brands business, particularly with IT integration.
A forthcoming "growth summit" in Amsterdam will provide a platform for further idea exchange. Hemsley said he remains confident that the company will deliver adjusted EBITDA in line with market expectations. One challenge has been higher interest rates than initially budgeted. After reducing group net debt from £79.1 million in June to £76 million at the end of September, Hemsley also highlighted that management of working capital and debt, particularly after the Pirtek acquisition, remains a priority.
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