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Popeyes 2Q sales positive, unit growth ahead

Popeyes 2Q sales positive, unit growth ahead

AFC Enterprises Inc., operator and franchisor of the Popeyes chain, said corporate revenue and same-store sales trends remained positive in the second quarter, and annual unit growth targets remain on track.

Atlanta-based Popeyes plans to accelerate the openings of new restaurants in 2011, with between 40 and 80 new net openings scheduled, compared with 39 net openings in 2010, AFC executives said Thursday during a conference call with investors. While details weren’t disclosed, the company said the new restaurants open with average weekly sales significantly higher than the average Popeyes system.

At the end of the second quarter, Popeyes totaled 2,000 restaurants compared with 1,945 at the end of the second quarter of 2010. The 2,000th Popeyes site opened in Memphis, Tenn. during the second quarter at an event where the brand gave away 2,000 pieces of chicken in 90 minutes.

“Despite a choppy economy and higher commodity costs, Popeyes continues to gain market share among its competitors,” Cheryl Bachelder, AFC chief executive, said in a statement.

Bachelder noted the success of the chain’s $3.99 Rip’n Chick’n limited time offer. With so many quick-service core customers out of work and consumers very price-conscious, Popeyes will have to focus on promotions and menu innovation, she said.

For the second quarter ended July 10, AFC profit fell 19 percent to $5.5 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $6.8 million, or 26 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. The current quarter suffered from the loss of a year-ago $1.4 million tax benefit.

Second-quarter revenue rose 3 percent to $35.3 million.

Second-quarter global same-store sales increased 0.7 percent in the second quarter, reflecting same-store sales gains of 0.5 percent in the United States and 2.3 percent in international markets.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN

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