Restaurant Brands meets 2018 sales forecast

Restaurant Brands met its sales forecast for 2018 and revenue rose 49% to $740.8million, as acquisitions in Hawaii and Australia bolstered earnings.

In June last year, chief executive Russel Creedy said the company expected to "comfortably" exceed revenue of $700million in the 2018 financial year and it was aiming to reach $1billion in annual sales.

The company reported yesterday it had done that. Fourth-quarter earnings, for the 12 weeks ended February 26, were $181.3million, a 49% lift on the same period in 2017. The full earnings are due on April 17.

In New Zealand, Restaurant Brands runs KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks Coffee, while in the past 18 months it has added Hawaii, where it operates 82 Taco Bell and Pizza Hut stores, and Australia, where it operates 61 KFC outlets in New South Wales.

KFC New Zealand sales rose 7.8% to $319.6million in the year, up 6.2% on a same-store basis, and fourth-quarter sales rose 7.1% to $75.7million, up 5% on a same-store basis. Store numbers rose by two in the year to 94, and one outlet opened at Christchurch Airport during the quarter.

The United States operations had fourth-quarter sales of $US28.6million ($NZ$39.4million) and contributed $US119.8million in the 51 weeks since they were bought. Its Taco Bell and Pizza Hutt stores near Pearl Harbor are temporarily closed, due to infrastructure work on the base and are scheduled to reopen next month, the company said.

In Australia, annual sales rose 50.9% on a total store basis to $A139.5million ($NZ151.8million) up 4.9% on a same-store basis. Fourth-quarter sales were $A39.1million, up 2.4% on a same-store basis and 57.7% in total. It started the year with 42 stores and bought or opened 19 during the year.

Sales at the 36 company-owned Pizza Hut New Zealand outlets rose 1.5% annually to $41.1million, up 8.1% on a same-store basis and sales were up 0.2% in the quarter to $9million. There are 61 Pizza Hut outlets operated by independent franchisees and network sales climbed 10% to $100.7million in the year, with a 6.4% quarterly gain to $22.8million.

Starbucks Coffee sales struggled, down 3.3% annually to $25.8million though they rose 6.3% on a same-store basis. The company closed two Starbucks outlets in the year, bringing its total in the country to 22.

Carl's Jr sales dropped 3.9% to $34.9million in the year, and were down 2.6% on a same-store basis. The number of outlets was unchanged at 19.

The shares last traded at $7.20 and have gained 34% in the past 12 months.

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