Retail Food Group said increased revenue generated from franchising options underpinned the company’s fifth consecutive record first half net profit after tax.

The retail food brand manager and franchisor reported a 9 per cent increase in its first half net profit after tax from $12.5 million to $13.6 million. Also, total revenue for the period jumped 1.6 per cent to $61.3 million from $61.3 million in the previous corresponding year.

RFG chairman John Cowley described the result as “satisfying”, particularly given the difficult retailing conditions.

The company recently increased its outlet population growth by acquiring the Esquires Coffee Houses franchise system, contributing a further 46 franchised outlets under the RFG umbrella.

Also, contributions from those franchise systems acquired in the second half of 2010, including DCM Coffee & Donuts, Big Dad’s Pies and the Brumby’s Bakeries; as well as further transitioning of Michel’s Patisserie outlets to the traditional franchise royalty model added to the company’s success.

RFG CEO Tony Alford said total franchisee network sales of $327 million were supported by marketing initiatives.

“In 1H11, the optimisation of RFG’s revenue drivers was challenged by depressed shopping centre foot traffic, subdued consumer spending, burdensome labour laws, and more recently the impact of significant environmental events,” he said.

“The underlying strength of the Company’s franchise systems manifests itself in strong diverse revenue streams and each remains positioned to increase growth once retail returns to normality.”

But given the environmental events, RFG said the full impact of it on the business cannot be fully assessed.

“After taking into consideration the probable financial disruption of these devastating events and RFG’s priority commitment to its franchisee community, present estimates indicate an increase in core FY11 NPAT over FY10 (being $26.4 million) of between 5 to 10 per cent.”