New Zealanders spent $336 million on KFC last year, accounting for almost half of Restaurant Brands’ $795 million sales. However, despite reporting an underlying profit of $42.2 million, the company will not pay out a final dividend, preferring to keep cash on hand as it embarks on an ambitious expansion project.
“While some of this store development and acquisition growth can be funded from increased borrowings, directors believe that it is in the best interests of the group to retain cash in order to provide funding flexibility,” the board wrote in its final report. “Directors have therefore resolved not to pay a final dividend for the FY19 year.”
In the next five years Restaurant Brands plans on opening 30 new KFC stores in Australia and New Zealand as well as 60 Taco Bells. Around 60 KFCs are also in line for a refurbishment, and the company is looking at purchasing several KFCs or Taco Bell outlets on the US mainland, to accompany the stores it currently owns in Hawaii.
Despite the success of KFC, Restaurant Brands continues to struggle with Carl’s Jr. The burger chain’s earnings fell to $900,000, down 53 percent on the previous year.