Restaurant Brands 3Q sales creep higher, Pizza Hut improves

Dec. 12 (BusinessDesk) - Restaurant Brands, the fast food operator which recently launched the Carl's Jr brand in New Zealand, lifted third-quarter sales 0.5 percent as its Pizza Hut stores' cheap deals came up trumps in a highly competitive market.

Total same store sales increased to $72.2 million in the three months ended Dec. 3, from $71.9 million in the same period a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. KFC sales, which make up the bulk of the company's revenue, rose 0.5 percent to $5.4 million.

The Pizza Hut stores, which have consistently underperformed in recent years, boosted total sales 3.5 percent to $11.1 million, and registered an 18 percent gain in same-store sales.

The pizza restaurant's $4.90 deals offered "a strong value-based entry and headline price point for Pizza Hut in a very competitive and crowded market," the company said. The same store sales increase was particularly pleasing because the same period last year included the "busy Rugby World Cup."

Sales at Restaurant Brands' Starbucks Coffee chain dropped 6.9 percent to $5.7 million due to new pricing options and the closure of three stores.

The company's first Carl's Jr store opened at the end of the quarter, and managed $90,000 in sales from five days of trading.

Restaurant Brands is forecasting annual profit before non-trading items in the vicinity of $18 million, little changed from the $18.4 million reported last year.

The shares rose 1.5 percent to $2.70, and have climbed 29 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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