Noble Roman’s reports lower profit, revenue

Noble Roman’s Inc. attributed lower profit in the first quarter to a decrease in royalties and fees from its franchisees.

The Indianapolis-based franchisor of Noble Roman’s Pizza and Tuscano’s Italian Style Subs said Wednesday that first-quarter profit fell 18 percent from a year ago, to $351,667, or 2 cents per share.

First-quarter revenue dipped 5 percent, to $1.8 million.

Royalties and ongoing fees the chain collects from its franchisees decreased from $1.6 million to $1.5 million, largely due to fewer traditional stores operating in 2010.

The chain did see an increase in one-time fees, including franchisee and equipment costs. They climbed 46 percent in the first quarter from the same time last year, to $123,684, the company said.

Noble Roman’s began offering a “take-n-bake” version of its pizza to grocery stores in September and had signed 155 agreements through April 30, the company said.

Noble Roman’s also has submitted several bids to open franchises on military bases. Most of the requests are still outstanding, though it has been awarded contracts for the Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company said.

Shares of Noble Roman’s opened Friday morning at $1.10 each, off slightly from their recent high of $1.12.

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