Afton to close 241 Pizza call center but outsource same service

March 16, 2003

BURLINGTON, Ontario -- Afton Food Group Ltd. (TSX: AFF) announced its subsidiary 241 Pizza Inc. will close its own one-number call center in March and outsource that service to Joint Technologies Inc., based in North Bay, Ontario.

Afton believes the cut will save it approximately $1.4 million in annualized savings. It also plans to sell its call center.

In the release, Robert Macdonald, Afton's president and chief executive officer said the move was a continuation of the company's operations restructuring plan, which it launched in August.

Last year was a tough one for Afton. An attempted merger with Moncton, New Brunswick-based Pizza Delight dissolved on July 23 when that company's shareholders requested additional financial disclosure from Afton (See "Pizza Delight drops merger agreement with Afton Food Group.")

Afton threatened legal action, and that led to a settlement in which Pizza Delight's shareholders purchased more than 11 percent of Afton's outstanding stock for CAN $1.25 million (U.S. $787,500,). (See "Afton settles with Pizza Delight.")

After losing $7.2 million (U.S. $4.6 million) through the first three quarters of last year (See "Afton Food Group posts Q3 loss"), the company reorganized into an income trust in December (See "Afton reorganizes into income trust.")

In addition to 241 Pizza, Afton operates and franchises Mrs. Powell's Bakery Eatery, Donut Delite Cafe, Ruffage and Robin's Donuts.

Topics: Service , Telecommunications

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