Nexcen Brands Cash, Debt Flat in Q1

NexCen Brands, Inc., the parent of The Athlete's Foot, reported its cash on hand was approximately $8 million at the end of its first quarter ended March 31, remaining consistent with cash on hand at Dec. 31, 2008. Debt was approximately $142 million, also remaining level with outstanding debt at the close of the year.


Due to financial accounting irregularities, the company had not provided any financial information since the 2007 fourth quarter.
NexCen's franchise brands include TAF (The Athlete's Foot), Shoebox New York, Great American Cookies, MaggieMoo's, Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzelmaker and Pretzel Time.


For the first quarter, NexCen expects to report revenues from its franchise business of $12 million against $10 million a year ago, a 15% gain. Assuming last year's acquisition of Great American Cookies and joint venture with Shoebox New York occurred at the start of 2008, franchise revenues were flat. 


Royalty and licensing revenues were approximately $6 million, 7% greater than the prior year's quarter. Franchise fee revenue from the sale of new franchises was approximately $1 million, a decline of approximately 20%.


The company's average effective interest rate for its credit facility declined to 6.8% in Q109 compared to an average rate of 8.6% in the Q408 due to repayments of principal in Q408, modification of interest rates in Q109 and declines in LIBOR rate Nexcen said it anticipates filing its 2007 results with the SEC by July 31, its 2008 and Q109 results by Aug. 31.

About The Author

Nexcen Brands Cash, Debt Flat in Q1

NexCen
Brands, Inc., the parent of The Athlete's Foot, reported its cash on
hand was approximately $8 million at the end of its first quarter ended
March 31, remaining consistent with cash on hand at December 31. Debt
was approximately $142 million, remaining level with outstanding debt
at the close of the year

Due to financial accounting
irregularities, the company had not provided any financial information
since the fourth quarter of 2007. Its 2007 results will be restated.

Nexcen's
franchise brands that includes two retail franchises: TAF (The
Athlete's Foot) and Shoebox New York, as well as five quick service
restaurant (QSR) franchises: Great American Cookies, MaggieMoo's,
Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzelmaker and Pretzel Time.

For the
first quarter, NexCen expects to report revenues from its franchise
business of $12 million against $10 million a year ago, a 15% gain.
First quarter 2009 results fully reflect the acquisition of Great
American Cookies and the joint venture interest in Shoebox New York,
which were completed in January 2008. On a pro-forma basis, assuming
these two transactions had been completed on January 1, 2008, revenues
from continuing operations were approximately $12 million for the first
quarter of 2008.

Royalty and licensing revenues were
approximately $6 million, 7% greater than the first quarter of 2008.
Franchise fee revenue from the sale of new franchises was approximately
$1 million, a decline of approximately 20% from the first quarter of
2008.

Deferred revenue related to the pipeline for franchise
stores to be opened pursuant to executed Letters of Intent and
Franchise Agreements was approximately $3 million at March 31, 2009, a
decrease of approximately $2 million or 32% from $5 million at December
31, 2008.

The company's overall effective interest rate and
related interest expense related to its outstanding debt declined due
to repayments of principal in the fourth quarter of 2008, modification
of interest rates in the first quarter of 2009 and declines in LIBOR
rates. The company's average effective interest rate for its credit
facility was 6.8% and 6.6% in the first and second quarters of 2009,
respectively, as compared to an average rate of 8.6% in the fourth
quarter of 2008. The average monthly cash interest expense was $822,000
and $780,000 in the first and second quarters of 2009, respectively, as
compared to average monthly cash interest expense of $1.0 million in
the fourth quarter of 2008.

Regarding current business
developments, Nexcen said it had executed franchise agreements for 20
new franchise units across its seven franchise businesses in the second
quarter, versus franchise agreements for 24 new franchise units in the
first quarter of 2009. For the second quarter, NexCen's pipeline of
franchise stores to be opened pursuant to Letters of Intent and
Franchise Agreements increased to 367 stores at June 30, versus 310
stores at March 31, 2009.

Kenneth J. Hall, CEO, stated, “Our
first quarter results and our franchise expansion activities are
reflective of our efforts over the past year to streamline our
business, reduce operating expenses, improve cash flow and grow our
franchised brands. We have improved EBITDA and operating cash flows as
compared to 2008, and we anticipate further improvements in these key
metrics as we move forward in 2009. We also continue to execute on our
four-pronged business strategy for 2009, to strengthen each of our
brands, integrate our brands, increase profitability of our
franchisees, and leverage our franchising platform. Overall, we are
encouraged by our performance in our franchise business, despite a
challenging economic environment. We believe we are now starting to see
the fruits of our efforts to improve the business, after a difficult
year in 2008.”

2008 Preliminary Results

For
2008, NexCen said it expects to report revenues from continuing
operations of its franchise business of approximately $47 million for
the year ended December 31, 2008 compared to approximately $20 million
for the year ended December 31, 2007, an increase of $27 million or
139%. The results for 2008 fully reflect the acquisitions completed in
2007, and include the acquisition of Great American Cookies and the
joint venture interest in Shoebox New York that were completed in
January 2008. On a pro forma basis, assuming all acquisitions of
franchised brands had been completed on January 1, 2007, revenues from
continuing operations were approximately $50 million for 2007 and $49
million for 2008.

Royalty and licensing revenues were
approximately $26 million versus $16 million in 2007, an increase of
approximately $10 million or 59%. Franchisee fee revenue from the sale
of new franchises was approximately $4 million, an increase of
approximately 5% over 2007. Plant revenue from its Great American
Cookies factory, which was acquired in January 2008, was approximately
$17 million.

The company's cash on hand at December 31, 2008 was
approximately $8 million as compared to cash on hand of $47 million at
December 31, 2007. The amount of the company's outstanding debt was
approximately $142 million at December 31, 2008, an increase of $32
million as compared to the amount of outstanding debt of approximately
$110 million at December 31, 2007. The acquisition of Great American
Cookies completed in January 2008 substantially increased the
outstanding debt to approximately $179 million, which was then
subsequently reduced.

Deferred revenue related to the pipeline
of franchise stores to be opened pursuant to executed Letters of Intent
and Franchise Agreements was approximately $5 million at December 31,
2008, an increase of approximately $1 million or 17% from $4 million at
December 31, 2007.

Revenues relating to NexCen's consumer
branded licensing business, which consisted of Bill Blass and Waverly,
are being reported as discontinued operations due to the sale of those
businesses completed in 2008.

Material Increases in Operating Expenses

The
company said its efforts in 2008 to stabilize its financial condition,
enhance its liquidity and position itself for long-term viability and
future growth had a significant negative impact on its 2008 financial
results. The company's total operating expenses increased materially in
2008, as compared to 2007, due primarily to impairment related to
intangible assets, significant increases in restructuring charges, loss
on the sale of Bill Blass and Waverly, and increased professional fees
related to internal and external investigations and the restructuring
of its debt facility.

Decreases in Value of Intangible Assets

The
company expects that its balance sheet as of December 31, 2008 will
reflect significant reductions in the value of its intangibles, which
comprise its principal assets, due to anticipated impairment charges of
approximately $242 million in 2008 and the sale of the Bill Blass and
Waverly businesses. The anticipated loss on sale for those businesses
is approximately $7 million.

Hall stated, “The past year was a
significant transition year for NexCen as the company went through
dramatic change, including restructuring its debt facility, narrowing
its strategic focus on franchising and completing the sale of Bill
Blass and Waverly to reduce the company's debt. While our 2008 results
will reflect significant losses as a result of the additional expenses
and charges that the company incurred as a result of these actions, we
believe we have entered 2009 as a stronger company.”

The company
announced that it anticipates being able to file with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) by July 31, 2009 an amended Annual Report
on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2007, which will include
a restatement of its 2007 financial results. The company anticipates
being able to file by August 31, 2009 its Annual Report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2008 and its Quarterly Report on Form
10-Q for the quarter ending March 31, 2009.

The company plans to
hold an investor conference call following each of these filings to
review in greater detail the respective financial and operating results.

About The Author

Thomas J. Ryan

Thomas J. Ryan Senior Business Editor | SGB Media tryan@sgbonline.com | 917.375.4699

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