Papa John's posts 31.9% surge in 4th-Q profits

LOUISVILLE Ky. Aided by a beneficial tax settlement, an extra operating week versus the year earlier and a revenue gain of 11.9-percent to $277.9 million, Papa John's International Inc. reported a 31.9-percent surge in fourth-quarter profit.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Papa John's earned $19 million, or 59 cents per share, compared with profit of $14.4 million, or 42 cents per share, in the year-earlier fourth quarter.

Domestic systemwide same-store sales decreased 0.5 percent for the latest quarter. Revenues were aided by a net opening of 37 restaurants and an additional week of operation versus the year earlier.

For the full year, Papa John's, which operates or franchises 3,015 restaurants, earned $63.4 million, or $1.92 per share, compared with year-earlier profit of $46.1 million, or $1.34 per share. Revenues totaled $1.00 billion for 2006, a 3.4-percent increase from 2005. Full year same-store sales increased 3.1 percent.