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Noble Roman's boosts profit in 2009

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Indianapolis-based Noble Roman's Inc. improved its bottom line in 2009, reporting a $1.7 million profit despite revenue that dropped 16 percent to $7.5 million.

The previous year, the franchisor of Noble Roman’s Pizza and Tuscano’s Italian Style Subs reported a $2.5 million loss after taking a charge tied to discontinued operations. Excluding that charge, it made $1.4 million in 2008.

Noble Roman’s attributed the improvement to its decision to close most company-owned stores and focus on franchised locations in “non-traditional venues” such as hospitals, military bases, universities, convenience stores and hotels.

"Fortunately, we took decisive action throughout the second half of 2008 to significantly reduce overhead, target resilient growth opportunities and create new revenue sources,” President Scott Mobley said in a statement released Monday. As a result, last year’s results improved despite an “extremely challenging” business environment.
 
Among the changes in 2009: Noble Roman’s introduced “take-and-bake” pizza options both in its franchises and as a stand-alone offering in grocery stores. It has signed agreements for 87 grocery store locations and expects significant growth in that business in 2010.

Revenue dropped largely as a result of a decline in royalty and fee income as the company sold fewer franchises and area development agreements, something officials attributed to the national recession and credit crisis.

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