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Australian KFC boosts Restaurant Brands

NZN 1/06/2016 Paul McBeth

Restaurant Brands New Zealand lifted first-quarter sales 8.5 per cent as the acquisition of New South Wales' biggest KFC franchise bolstered revenue in the period.

Total sales rose to $96.6 million in the 12 weeks to May 23 from $89.1m a year earlier.

Its 42 Australian KFC stores contributed $8.1m, the company said.

Stripping that out, revenue in New Zealand was down 0.6 per cent due to the closure of nine Pizza Hut stores, one Starbucks Coffee outlet and weak sales in the Carl's Jr chain.

On a same-store basis, sales rose 0.4 per cent with gains in Restaurant Brands' KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks franchises offsetting a 14 per cent drop in revenue at Carl's Jr, which enjoyed rapid growth since it joined the group in 2014.

Restaurant Brands carried out a major expansion in March, making its first foray across the Tasman by buying QSR Pty, the biggest KFC franchisee in NSW, with 42 stores, for $A82.4 million ($NZ88.08 million).

Its shares have soared on the prospects of Australian earnings growth from KFC, its most successful New Zealand brand.

The company's shares last traded at $5.50 and have climbed 25 per cent so far this year.

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