Forecast strong for Restaurant Brands

Carl's Jr.New Zealand’s largest fast food operator, Restaurant Brands, has raised its annual profit forecast following a strong performance in the 28 weeks ending September 8, 2014.

Directors anticipate that the company will deliver a full year profit in excess of $NZ22 million for the 2015 year.

Total group sales were $NZ185.7 million, up 5.8 per cent on the previous half year results.

KFC reported a strong performance, and there were increased contributions from the group’s newest brand, Carl’s Jr.

Solid same store growth was reported from KFC, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks, with same store sales up 4.9 per cent for the half year.

EBITA was up $NZ4.4 million (16.2 per cent) on the prior year.

The bulk of the $NZ31.6 million EBITA was delivered by KFC, with an increase of $NZ3.4 million on the prior year.

All four brands reported a positive growth on the same period last year.

Store numbers at the end of the half year period total 174, the same number as in the prior year.

The building of Carl’s Jr. stores and KFC acquisitions offset reductions in Pizza Hut and Starbucks Coffee stores.

KFC is expected to maintain positive sales growth in the second half of the year, together with similar margins. Pizza Hut is expected to deliver the same store sales growth and maintain margins, while Starbucks Coffee will hold current sales and margins.

Two further Carl’s Jr. stores are scheduled for opening in the second half of the year.

The company reported that “as planned, the hard work in building internal efficiencies under last year’s pricing pressures has put the company in a good position to benefit from the sales improvements with better market conditions. This, together with some reductions in input costs, has produced a corresponding improvement in brand margins”.

Directors have declared an interim dividend of 7.5 cents per ordinary share, which is up one cent on last year.


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