4 Apr 2012

Fast food chain says profits unlikely to improve

7:05 am on 4 April 2012

Restaurant Brands says profits are unlikely to improve in the coming year as it faces a soft retail environment and intense competition in the fast food market.

The company, which operates the KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut chains, on Tuesday announced a 30% slump in profit to $16.9 million for the year to February.

The Christchurch earthquake, the accelerated sale of Pizza Hut stores and higher costs weighed on the company, with revenue falling nearly 5% to $309 million.

Chief financial officer Grant Ellis says, in a tough trading environment, the company is focused on cost reductions and re-energising the brands, including the transformation of KFC.

He says the company will continue to sell off its smaller Pizza Hut stores to franchisees but will retain some of its profitable pizza outlets.

Mr Ellis says Restaurant Brands is on the lookout for new sites for both its KFC and Starbucks outlets and will also expand its new burger brand, Carl's Junior, this year.