29 Jun 2009

Restaurant Brands predicts tough conditions will continue

11:06 am on 29 June 2009

Fast food operator Restaurant Brands has told investors it expects trading conditions to remain tough because of rising costs and the economic downturn.

At its annual meeting, the company forecast a full year profit of $12 million once one-off items are excluded, slightly higher than its previous year's $11.7 million profit.

The company says that will depend on continuing improvements in its star performing KFC chain, and a solid earnings turnaround from its Pizza Hut and Starbucks stores.

Restaurant Brands chief executive Russell Creedy says Starbucks is a concern, with a downturn in coffee-buying during the recession, but measures are being put in place and the Starbucks could move into the coffee kiosk market.

Mr Creedy says KFC will soon add two new products to its menu and offer healthier choices. Taco Bell and Long John Silver restaurants could be seen around the country.

Restaurant Brands says its strong international backing will help it roll out big expansions over the next couple of years.

Restaurant Brands is asking investors to approve an increase in total directors fees of $20,000 to $220,000, which it says would be the first increase in 11 years.