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Restaurant Brands 4th-qtr sales rise 4.5 percent as Carl's Jr makes up for Starbuck’s dip

Thursday 7th March 2013

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Restaurant Brands New Zealand reported a 4.5 percent gain in fourth-quarter sales as the inclusion of two Carl's Jr stores made up for weaker revenue from Starbuck's Coffee as it closed six outlets.

Sales rose to $72.96 million in the 12 weeks ended Feb. 25, from $69.8 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Annual sales rose 1.2 percent to $311.9 million.

Restaurant Brands is tweaking its product mix in a strategy to wind down its less profitable Pizza Hut stores while adding burger chain Carl's Jr. On a same-store basis, total sales rose 3.9 percent in the latest quarter and were up 1.9 percent in the year.

The company's total number of stores fell by 17 to 177, as it added 1 KFC outlet to 89. It cut 14 Pizza Hut stores to 57, selling 13 to franchisees and closing one. It trimmed Starbuck's outlets by 6 to 29 and added two Carl's Jr stores.

Fried chicken chain KFC remains the flagship for the group, generating a 1.8 percent gain in quarterly sales to $54.2 million, for an annual increase of 0.3 percent to $237 million.

Sales at Pizza Hut rose 6.9 percent to $10.9 million in the quarter and annual revenue rose 5.3 percent to $47.9 million. Starbuck's quarterly sales fell 4.8 percent to $6.1 million and dropped 5.1 percent in the year to $25.1 million, Carl's Jr contributed $1.79 million in the latest year.

The company announces its full-year results on April 4. The shares fell 0.7 $2.82 and have gained 9.1 percent this year.

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