DURANGO, CO - (Marketwire - Mar 12, 2013) - Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ: RMCF) (the "Company"), which franchises/operates gourmet chocolate stores and manufactures an extensive line of premium chocolates and other confectionery products, today announced the continuation of its international expansion strategy with the signing of Licensing Agreements ("the Agreements") in South Korea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"We are very pleased to announce the continued expansion of our international franchising initiative with the signing of Licensing Agreements with strategic partners in South Korea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," stated Franklin Crail, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We commenced the international expansion program approximately one year ago with the signing of a Master License Agreement that anticipates the opening of 100 stores in Japan over a ten-year period. To date, 5 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores have opened in Japan, where consumers have exhibited great enthusiasm for our brand and our products. We continue to evaluate licensing opportunities in a number of additional countries and expect the opening of international franchised stores to gain momentum in coming years."
Under the terms of the Agreement for South Korea, the Licensee will open five (5) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores within 30 months following the execution of the Agreement. The Licensee has also been granted a 30-month option to convert its initial License Agreement into a Master License Agreement covering the entire country of South Korea. If the Licensee chooses to exercise the option prior to its expiration date, the Licensee will acquire the right to itself and/or through third-party franchisees to develop not less than 30 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores, inclusive of the five (5) stores developed under the terms of the initial License Agreement.
Under the terms of the Agreement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Licensee will open and begin operating four (4) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores within 30 months following the execution of the Agreement. The Licensee has also been granted a 30-month option to convert its initial License Agreement into a Master License Agreement covering the entire country of Saudi Arabia. If the Licensee chooses to exercise the option prior to its expiration date, the Licensee will acquire the right to itself and/or through third-party franchisees to develop an additional six (6) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory stores in the Licensed Territory.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. is an international franchiser of gourmet chocolate, confection and a manufacturer of an extensive line of premium chocolates and other confectionery products. As of March 12, 2013, the Company and its franchisees operated 302 chocolates stores and 55 co-branded stores in 41 states, Canada, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. The Company's majority-owned subsidiary, U-Swirl, Inc. (OTCQB: SWRL) operates and/or franchises 68 self-serve frozen yogurt stores as of March 12, 2013.
The Company is headquartered in Durango, Colorado, and its common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "RMCF."
Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking information. Risks and uncertainties that could cause cash flows to decrease or actual results to differ materially include, without limitation, seasonality, consumer interest in our products, general worldwide economic conditions, consumer and retail trends, costs and availability of raw materials, competition, the success of our licensees in international markets, including but not limited to new store openings, reception of our brand in new markets, international laws and regulations, the ability to secure international trademarks, availability of viable locations and other risks. Readers are referred to our periodic reports filed with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The information contained in this press release is a statement of our present intentions, beliefs or expectations and is based upon, among other things, the existing business environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and our assumptions. We may change our intentions, beliefs or expectations at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in its assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this press release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that we or persons acting on our behalf may issue.
Bryan J. Merryman