Franchisor of the Year award winners announced

Snap-on-Tools, Domino's Pizza and Molly Maid - three very different Franchises with one thing in common - all are celebrating after this years British Franchise Association's 2007 Franchisor of the Year Awards.

The Awards, sponsored by Express Newspapers and HSBC Bank, seek out the top performing franchisors in the UK, rewarding individual excellence and highlighting the increasing influence of a market sector now worth £10 billion a year.

With the theme of this years Awards being 'Customer Focus', there was such a high standard of entries that for the first time Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies were handed to the top three Franchises

Receiving the prestigious Gold Award was Snap-on-Tools, a company specialising in the manufacture and distribution of complex automotive diagnostic equipment. Having invested £1,000,000 in training customers, as well as franchisees, in the use of complex automotive diagnostic equipment, Snap-on has established a huge market lead over its nearest competitor. Sales of diagnostic products have risen by £2 million in just one year.

Speaking at the presentations, bfa Director General Brian Smart said: 'This company deserves recognition for its outstanding achievements and demonstrates how the franchising model can be used effectively to overcome complex marketing challenges.'

Securing the Silver Award was Domino's Pizza, who received particular merit for its continued efforts in helping its Franchisees meet customer demand in a very competitive market. These efforts produced record-breaking results in 2006, with network turnover exceeding £240 million.

The home cleaning agency Molly Maid took the Bronze, recognised for the number of customer-focused initiatives it has introduced in the last two years.

In other wins, Thresher, the well-known off-licence group and leading independent wine retailer, was named 'Express Newspapers Brand Builder of the Year'. The judges were particularly impressed with Threshers' bold vision and strategic planning in its implementation to franchise 600 of its 2000 outlets over the next three to four years.

The HSBC Enterprise Award went to Clive's Easylearn Rock and Pop Schools, a network of innovative music classes for people both young and old. The first franchise sold in 2002 and now there is over 60 outlets throughout the UK and Ireland. 'This is one of the most original ideas we have seen in the Awards this year,' said HSBC's Head of Franchising Cathryn Hayes, 'and is an excellent example of the flexibility of franchising. Clive's success shows how a small business with big ideas can grow and flourish by applying the rules of franchising effectively and imaginatively.'