9 Apr 2014

Fast food company profit up

12:41 pm on 9 April 2014

Annual net profit at Restaurant Brands rose by 23.5 percent after it closed or sold poorly-performing Pizza Hut and Starbucks stores.

090414. KFC restaurant.

KFC restaurant. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The rise in the fast food company's net profit to $20 million for the 52 weeks ended February was despite a 1.6 percent fall in operating profits from its flagship KFC chain, due to aggressive discounting.

Restaurant Brands said the retail environment is soft and competitors are being very aggressive.

The company said it will invest significantly in the KFC chain this year and it expects it to deliver both sales and profit margin growth as a result.

Operating profit from the Pizza Hut chain jumped nearly 45 percent, despite it owning 51 stores, six fewer than last year. Another 33 Pizza Hut stores are now owned by franchisees.

The company said rising sales through Pizza Hut and better operational efficiences are driving the profit growth.

Starbucks' operating profit rose more than 19 percent, even though two stores were closed.

Restaurant Brands says the rationalisation of the Starbucks chain is now largely complete.

Directors say they are cautiously optimistic the company will lift profits this year.