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KFC star performer for Restaurant Brands

NZN 23/06/2017 Sophie Boot

Restaurant Brands New Zealand, the fast-food retailer, is forecasting sales above $700 million in the 2018 financial year as it reaps gains from its expansion into Australia and Hawaii.

In New Zealand, Restaurant Brands runs KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl's Jr and Starbucks Coffee.

In the last 12 months it has added Hawaii, where it operates 82 Taco Bell and Pizza Hut stores, and Australia, where it operates 47 KFC outlets in New South Wales.

Sales for the year ended February 27, 2017 were $497.2 million, including $400m in New Zealand sales and 10 months' trading from the Australian business.

"We are well on the way to our billion dollar revenue target," chief executive Russel Creedy said in speech notes published on the NZX.

"The impact of sales from the Hawaiian acquisition will only be felt in the current financial year. With the benefit of virtually a full year's trading for the Hawaiian and Australian operations, together with sound growth in New Zealand, we expect total sales for the current financial year to be comfortably in excess of $700 million."

Before Friday's annual meeting in Auckland, the company announced plans to dual-list on the Australian Securities Exchange by the end of September.

Restaurant Brands had 212 stores in Australia and New Zealand at the end of the financial year, and with the Hawaiian acquisition and additional stores opening in the year, it expects that number to exceed 300 by the end of this financial year.

KFC, its biggest earner, continued to reap profits, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) up 7.5 per cent to $61.4m in the year.

Restaurant Brands has spent $100m updating its New Zealand KFC stores over the past 11 years, which it said had resulted in sales jumping from $172m in 2006 to nearly $300m in 2017.

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