ATLANTA AFC Enterprises Inc., parent of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, said increased value offerings and a better advertising strategy helped the 1,943-unit chicken chain post improved sales in its latest quarter and fiscal year.
Popeyes' domestic same-store sales fell 1 percent for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 27 , compared with a 2.8-percent decline a year ago. Global same-store sales declined 1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a year-earlier drop of 2.1 percent.
However, international same-store sales took a dive, falling 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 4.1 percent a year ago, AFC said.
For the full year, global same-store sales rose 0.7 percent, compared with a decline of 1.7 percent in 2008.
“During the fourth quarter, Popeyes was able to sustain positive traffic momentum, outperforming both QSR and chicken QSR categories where same-store sales and traffic remained weak,” said Cheryl Bachelder, chief executive of AFC Enterprises. “As a result, our full-year same-store sales remained positive and we have gained market share in the chicken category. This is a strong position given the market conditions.”
AFC said it expected 2009 earnings to be at the upper end of its earlier guidance of 66 cents to 70 cents per share. The company earned 76 cents per share in 2008.
AFC said it opened 95 restaurants and closed 81 stores locations in fiscal 2009.
Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].