As Famous Brand warned, a R874m write-down of its UK chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen knocked the restaurant franchiser into an interim loss of R544m for the six months to end-August from a R192m net profit in the matching period. Famous Brands said in Monday’s interim results statement it had “elected to cease operations until further notice” of another acquisition it made during its 2016 buying spree, Coega Concentrate. The tomato sauce factory contributed a R17.8m operating loss. “Management is pleased to advise shareholders that subsequent to the review period, a prospective buyer for the business has been identified and negotiations regarding the sale are in progress,” the company said in Monday’s interim results statement. “The past growing season proved to be an extremely challenging one, with drought playing a significant role in the outcome. Despite the best efforts by the plant’s management team and growers, production was substantially off the targeted volumes for viable oper...

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