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Restaurant Brands lifts full-year sales as expansion bears fruit

Thursday 7th March 2019

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Restaurant Brands New Zealand, the subject of a partial takeover offer by Finaccess Capital, lifted its full-year sales as the fast-food operator's expansion to Australia and Hawaii continued to bear fruit. 

Total sales for the 12 months to Feb. 25 were $794 million, up 7.2 percent on the year. Its fourth-quarter sales inched up 0.1 percent to $181.6 million.

New Zealand's largest fast-food operator has been expanding into overseas markets to drive earnings growth. The company, which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut, and Carl's Jr brands in New Zealand, has expanded its business to KFC in Australia and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in Hawaii.

It also plans to roll out 60 Taco Bell restaurants across New Zealand and New South Wales between 2019 and 2024.

Total store numbers were down by 31 on the equivalent period a year earlier at 283. That was primarily because of the sale of the 22 Starbucks Coffee stores in October and the sale of eight New Zealand Pizza Hut stores.

Total New Zealand sales dipped 0.4 percent to $419.8 million in the 12 months. Total sales in Australia lifted 27.8 percent to A$178.3 million and were up 4.1 percent in Hawaii at US$124.7 million. 

Full-year sales for KFC New Zealand were $336.5 million, an increase of 5.3 percent in total, and 4.3 percent on a same-store basis.

Annual sales for Restaurant Brands-owned Pizza Hut stores were $35.4 million, down 14.0 percent and 6.1 percent on a same-store basis.

Starbucks Coffee sales were $16 million, an increase of 4.0 percent on a same-store basis. The 22 Starbucks Coffee stores were sold on Oct. 23. 

Sales for Carl’s Jr. were $31.9 million, a decrease of 8.8 percent and 3.3 percent on a same-store basis. 

Taco Bell fared better in Hawaii than Pizza Hut Hawaii. Full-year sales at Taco Bell lifted 5.9 percent to US$72.3 million, and were up 5.1 percent on a same-store basis, while Pizza Hut Hawaii sales lifted 1.8 percent to US$52.4 million, but fell 2.1 percent on a same-store basis.

Restaurant Brands will publish its full-year earnings on April 16. Its shares last traded at $8.65 and are up 20 percent over the past 12 months. 

Mexico's Finaccess Capital launched its $881.5 million partial takeover bid last December, offering $9.45 per share.  The offer is higher than the $8.15-8.92 range adviser Grant Samuel calculated.

The offer closes on March 12 and as of March 6, acceptances stood at 33.7 percent. Finaccess wants at least a controlling stake and will cap its bid at 75 percent. 


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