Finger-Lickin Good Sales for Restaurant Brands

Partly boosted by eight months contribution from its new Californian KFC franchise business, listed New Zealand fast-food operator Restaurant Brands surpassed $1 billion in sales in the year to December 31.

The company closed the year with $1.068.2 billion in sales – up 19.7 percent ($175.9 million) compared with the same period a year earlier. Of that, about $100 million was attributable to the Californian business, with same-store sales strong despite the adverse impact of Covid-19 trading restrictions on dining in.

Full-year New Zealand sales of $461.1 million were up by 12.4 percent year on year, with strong same-store sales growth of 9.1 percent. In a stock-exchange filing, the company estimated that government-mandated full-store closures cost it $26 million in lost sales last year and $40 million in 2020.

Fourth-quarter New Zealand sales of $126.2 million were up by 5.3 percent year on year, with the Carl’s Jr and Pizza Hut chains performing very strongly.

With three new Taco Bell stores (in Dunedin, Sylvia Park in Auckland, and Rotorua) and a new KFC store in Sylvia Park, the company’s store network stretched to 137 during the quarter.

Two Carl’s Jr stores were converted to other brands: A KFC in Avondale and a Taco Bell at Auckland Airport.

Across the Tasman, full-year Australian sales were $A230.0 million ($NZ244.1 million), up by 13.6 percent, largely due to network expansion. Same-store sales rose by 1.4 percent on a same-store basis. Two new Taco Bell stores opened in Dee Why and Orange, taking the network to 79.

In Hawaii, full-year sales were $US146.3 million ($NZ206.5 million), an increase of 5 percent overall, or by 9.1 percent on a same-store basis. Expressed in New Zealand dollars, sales were down due to the appreciation of the currency against the USD.

Fourth-quarter sales were $US36.6 million ($NZ52.7 million), up 7.9 percent on a same-store basis. The company said Taco Bell sales grew strongly after the removal of Covid-19 restrictions and Pizza Hut benefited from increased demand for home delivery.