AFC Enterprises Inc., the parent of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, said Wednesday new menu items and efficient marketing helped to drive growth in the fourth quarter and throughout fiscal 2011.
The quick-service chicken company reported net income of $5.7 million, or 23 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 25, 2011, up 29.5 percent from $4.4 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Revenue for the quarter rose 6.1 percent to $36.3 million, from $34.2 million for the same period last year.
Global same-store sales increased 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a 6-percent gain in last year’s quarter.
“The fourth quarter was a strong close to our solid 2011 performance,” AFC chief executive Cheryl Bachelder said in a statement. “The results are an early indication of what this brand is capable of achieving.”
She said that with a strong foundation in place, “we see 2012 and beyond as the time for accelerated growth, first in the United States followed by sensible international expansion thereafter."
For the year, AFC said it posted net income of $24.2 million, or 97 cents per share, up from $22.9 million, or 90 cents per share, in fiscal 2010. Revenue was $153.8 million, up 5.1 percent from $146.4 million in fiscal 2010.
Global same-store sales rose 3.1 percent for the year, compared with an annual gain of 2.6 percent in 2010.
AFC said that over the course of the year it had invested in building a distinctive brand, running restaurants well, growing profits and accelerating “quality restaurant openings.” Those investments have resulted in, among other things, “effective, efficient advertising of relevant new product innovations that drive traffic,” the company said.
A net 65 Popeyes restaurants opened in 2011, and at the end of the year, 2,035 restaurants were operating — 1,627 in the United States and 408 internationally. Of those, 1,995 were franchised and 40 were operated by the Atlanta-based parent company.