Durangos only publicly traded company, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, is weathering one of the nations worst recessions well, said company executives.
In its quarterly release to investors issued Tuesday, the company boasted increased revenues for both the quarter and the first half of its fiscal year.
From a balance sheet perspective, our company has never been stronger than it is today, Bryan Merryman, chief operating and financial officer, said in a news release.
The chocolatier generated an 8.9 percent revenue increase in the three months ending Aug. 31 compared with the same period last year. And in the six months ending Aug. 31, the companys revenues rose 11.6 percent, he said.
He attributed a 7 percent increase in factory sales to better business in the franchise system and a 26 percent increase in sales to customers outside the reach of Rocky Mountains retail store network.
Investors reaped a 14.8 percent-per-share increase in the first half of the chocolate makers 2011 fiscal year compared with the same period a year earlier.
And franchisees and licensees opened 18 new stores bearing one or both of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Cold Stone Creamery concepts during the first half of the fiscal year, company filings show.
Another 37 to 54 stores are expected before the years end, Merryman said.
Within the next 18 months, as many as 100 stores could launch under the companys three franchise concepts, he said.
And thats in a market where financing is difficult, Merryman told an inquiring investor during a conference call Oct. 5.
Six stores did close during the quarter ending Aug. 31, however, he said.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, located in Bodo Industrial Park, is listed on Nasdaq by the symbol RMCF.
As of last week, the company and its franchisees were operating 352 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.