AAP Finance

Aussies eating up RBD’s Taco Bell plan

By AAP Newswire

Restaurant Brands NZ will push ahead with its Aussie Taco Bell expansion after sales at the brand new Sydney and Newcastle sites passed the taste test.

The dual-listed global fast food franchisor cut the ribbon at two NSW Taco Bell stores in December - in Blacktown and Jesmond - and said sales had so far exceeded expectations at $600,000.

Store earnings were, however, $700,000 in the red thanks to set-up costs which the company expected.

Seven more Taco Bells are slated for opening in 2020 with 60 stores planned across Australia and NZ by 2024.

Restaurant Brands on Friday also reported same store sales at its 63-store Australian KFC network increased on a full-year comparable basis, growing by 5.1 per cent.

However, a reduced FY19 reporting period and $NZ10.3 million in leasing provisions meant total net profit for the 44 weeks was down 15.8 per cent at $NZ30.1 million compared to 52 weeks of the prior year.

Comparable trading profit was $45.7 million, up 8.3 per cent.

The Aussie KFC network brought in $NZ159.6 million ($A153.2 million) in revenue over the 10 months to December 31 - 22 per cent of total sales.

The company will soon have a Californian presence via a $US73 million expansion that will include 70 KFC and Taco Bell stores.

RBD's ASX-listed shares were last trading at $8.80, unchanged since August, with Mexican investor Finaccess Capital maintaining a 91.3 per cent ownership.

HUNGER FOR RESTAURANT BRANDS

* FY19 reporting period 44 weeks vs 52 weeks FY19

* Revenue down 11pct to $705.5m

* Net profit down 15.8pct to $30.1m

* Comparable profit up 8.3pct to $45.7m

* No final dividend, unchanged