A second look at Second Cup? Coffee chain posts first rise in sales since 2015

Second Cup

Things may be perking up at the Second Cup Ltd. (TSX:SCU).

The coffee chain says during its second quarter ended July 1 it had a 0.7 per cent increase in same-store sales – a key retail metric measuring sales at locations open for at least a year.

That marks its first positive quarter since the fourth quarter of 2015.

The Mississauga, Ont.-based company trimmed its net losses to $315,000 or two cents per share from $441,000 or three cents per share in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was down to $6.2 million from $7.8 million, though it had 13 fewer cafes than it did last year.

Second Cup says it also plans to rid itself of its debt after an agreement announced earlier this week to convert $8 million of debt into equity at $1.90 per share is finalized.

Founded in 1975, Second Cup has been struggling in recent years to ward off the likes of Tim Hortons, Starbucks and McDonald's in the hyper-competitive cafe industry.

The company’s relationship with its franchise owners has been a sore spot for the Second Cup in recent years, with several launching lawsuits and others complaining of high renovation costs and rents, according to a 2016 Globe and Mail feature.

The story noted that Second Cup was attempting to address the concerns of its franchise owners by reducing royalty and marketing fees, among other measures.

There are 291 franchised and company-owned Second Cups in the country.

–With files from OBJ staff