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The company is currently converting 200 stores from its total portfolio of 1,930 in a programme which began in early 2006. Chief Executive Roger Whiteside plans to complete 500 conversions by the end of 2008.

Two key reasons for the sales increases are franchise operators being able to tailor their offer more dynamically for the local market and the additional commitment that owning the store can engender, with owners having a stronger interest in maximising the potential of a store.

Commenting on the news, Roger says: 'It is early days, but they are performing a few percentage points better than the managed stores.'


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