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Finger-lickin' good result for KFC's owner

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016 Sophie Boot

A sign with the KFC logo (file photo) © Getty Images A sign with the KFC logo (file photo) Restaurant Brands New Zealand, the fast-food retailer, lifted sales 35 per cent in the third quarter, with most of the increase coming from the 42 Australian KFC stores the company bought in April.

Sales in the 12 weeks ended Dec. 5 rose to $119 million, from $88.7m in the same period a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said.

Same-store sales, which are those for outlets open at least 12 months, rose 4 per cent to $90m.

The company made its first foray across the Tasman with the acquisition of the biggest KFC franchisee in New South Wales for $A82.4m ($NZ85.7m) made up of A$62m ($NZ64m) in cash and 5 million shares, which gave vendor Copulos Group almost 5 per cent of the company with a 12-month escrow on trading the stock.

Restaurant Brands is expanding into new markets to spread its risk and drive future earnings growth.

Last month it raised $94 million through a sale of shares to investors, helping fund its planned purchase of Pacific Island Restaurants, the largest fast-food operator in Hawaii with 82 Taco Bell and Pizza Hut stores.

Total sales for KFC Australia were $26.5m, and the acquired stores have contributed $70.1m this year.

KFC New Zealand sales rose 6 per cent to $68.3m, with one new store opening in Rolleston bringing the total number of outlets to 92. Same-store sales for KFC rose 4.2 per cent to $66.7m.

Pizza Hut total sales dropped 9.1 per cent to $9.5m, as the company sold its Grey Lynn store to an independent franchisee, reducing its total outlets to 36. Franchisees now own 56 of the 92 stores in the Pizza Hut network.

Starbucks Coffee sales rose 1.8 per cent to $6.4m, one fewer store at 24 after it closed Aotea Square. Same-store sales gained 5.6 per cent.

Carl's Jr, the company's newest brand, recorded a 16.1 per cent gain in sales to $8.8m as the number of stores rose by two from the year earlier to 20.

The shares last traded at $5.11 and have gained 18 per cent this year.

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