Burger King’s revamped menu is a hit, profit rises
NEW YORK, Aug 1 – Burger King Worldwide Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit today as new items on the fast-food chain’s menu, and accompanying advertising campaigns, helped boost sales in the United States and Canada.
The Miami-based chain, known for its “Whopper” hamburgers, has historically focused on young males, but it has recently attempted to broaden its appeal by adding fruit smoothies, salads, bacon ice cream sundaes and BBQ sandwiches to its menu.
The third-largest US hamburger chain, behind McDonald’s Corp and Wendy’s Co, said net income rose to US$48.2 million (RM150.09 million), or 14 cents per share, in the second quarter, from US$30.2 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, it earned 17 cents a share, topping analysts’ average estimate of 14 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 9.2 per cent to US$540.8 million. System-wide comparable sales, or sales at company-owned and franchise restaurants open at least 13 months, rose 4.4 per cent.
Burger King shares, which closed at US$15.32 yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange, were unchanged in premarket trade. The company went public in June at US$14.50 a share.
Burger King’s return to the stock market came less than two years after it was taken private in a US$3.26 billion sale to Brazilian investment fund 3G Capital Management LLC. It went public through a “reverse-merger” in which Justice Holdings, a traded shell company co-founded by hedge fund veteran Bill Ackman, absorbed Burger King.
Founded in 1954, Burger King has more than 12,500 locations around the world. It recently announced expansion deals in fast-growth countries like Brazil, Russia and China. The chain has also slashed costs, sold restaurants to franchisees, and begun renovating units.
About 94 per cent of Burger King restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees.
Today, the company said its US and Canadian franchisees had agreed to remodel 564 restaurants, bringing the total remodel commitment in the region to more than 1,500 restaurants as of June 30. – Reuters