Uncertainty over Brexit is one of the many challenges responsible for the poor performance of Famous Brands' UK investment, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK). In a trading statement for the year ended February 28 that was released on Monday, Famous Brands reported a 7% decline in sales at GBK, citing political and economic uncertainty, as well as constraints in consumer spending, as the biggest problems. Famous Brands, which locally owns Debonairs Pizza and Steers, acquired GBK in 2016 for £120m (about R2.3bn) shortly after the Brits voted to leave the EU. This was the biggest transaction in Famous Brands' expansion strategy and it has taken steps to halt the losses, slimming down the business and cutting marginal costs. It has closed 24 GBK outlets and said in October last year that it would restructure and negotiate its property portfolio with creditors. Management expressed optimism that the turnaround strategy for GBK is gaining momentum. The uncertainty over Brexit has had an impact...

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