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Freshii stock soars on strong sales

The healthy fast-casual chain's same-store sales increased 6.4% in the last three months of 2017.

Freshii on Wednesday said same-store sales increased 6.4% in the quarter ended Dec. 31, sending the company’s stock soaring more than 6%.

The Toronto-based healthy fast-casual chain said that same-store sales increased 5.5% in 2017, above the company’s recently raised outlook for the year.

The company also said it opened 25 net new locations in the quarter, and 92 new locations for the full year.

The company now operates 370 locations worldwide.

Systemwide sales grew 43% in 2017 to $137.4 million.

The results are preliminary. Freshii is expected to release its fiscal fourth quarter earnings next month.

Freshii, which trades on the Toronto stock exchange, saw its stock price plummet last September after warning that unit openings were proceeding more slowly than expected due to a combination of stress on company support staff and franchisees being more deliberate with the pace of openings.

In addition, Target closed 18 Freshii locations inside its retail centers.

But Freshii and its founder and CEO, Matthew Corrin, have since reverted back to aggressive methods for selling franchises. Corrin recently wrote a letter to Subway, offering a partnership to help that chain’s franchisees convert locations to Freshii.

Subway has been struggling, with weak sales and closing units.

Freshii had previously made similar overtures to McDonald’s and to frozen yogurt franchisees and also offered a discount to Chipotle customers while that chain shut down in February.

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