Burger King owner beats expectations, but sees US ‘softness’

October 24, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — Restaurant Brands International reported a rise in third-quarter sales Monday at its Burger King and Tim Horton stores, but the growth was much lower than a year ago. The company’s shares fell nearly 4 percent. 460x-1

Burger King sales rose 1.7 percent at established stores around the world. In the same period a year ago, the hamburger chain reported a 6.2 percent increase in sales. Restaurant Brands said Burger King sales were hurt by “softness” at its U.S. and Canada locations. The weakness was partly due to cheaper groceries, which are keeping Americans at home and cooking rather than going out to eat, said Chief Financial Officer Joshua Kobza. Last week, rival McDonald’s Corp. said falling prices at the supermarket may be changing its customers’ behavior too.

At doughnut chain Tim Horton, sales rose 2 percent at established stores around the world, compared to 5.3 percent growth a year ago. Chief Executive Daniel Schwartz said sales were helped by new menu items, such as grilled bagels and a Greek-inspired wrap for lunch.

The company said it is focused on expanding its brands around the world. A franchisee in France bought Quick restaurants last year and is in the process of converting them into Burger Kings. And more Tim Hortons locations are expected in the U.S. Midwest, such as in Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, as well as overseas in Great Britain and the Philippines.

Overall, Restaurant Brands reported net income of $153.8 million, or 36 cents per share, in the three months ending Sept. 30. It reported adjusted earnings of 43 cents per share, beating the 41 cents per share analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

The Oakville, Ontario-based company posted revenue of $1.08 billion in the period, below the $1.39 billion analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Shares of Restaurant Brands International Inc. fell $1.80, or 3.8 percent, to $45.20 on Monday.