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Papa John’s outlines 2010 guidance

LOUISVILLE Ky. Papa John’s International Inc. said it expects 2010 to remain tough for the third-largest pizza brand, with same-store sales expected to range from an increase of 1 percent to a decrease of 1 percent.

“The consumer environment is expected to continue to be very challenging, with the unemployment rate and consumer confidence seen as key indicators for the restaurant industry,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Through 2009, Papa John’s domestic same-store sales have remained basically flat from year-ago levels.

Papa John’s said its total revenues should increase in 2010 mainly because of expected worldwide unit growth, increases in the royalty rate and anticipated commodity cost increases that lead to higher commissary sales prices. Papa John’s owns a commissary that sells cheese to its franchisees.

Other 2010 expectations include:

-A 20- to 25-percent increase in earnings per share, which are expected to total between $1.70 and $1.90, excluding the impact of its consolidated and franchisee-owned cheese purchasing company. The company’s 2009 per-share earnings are expected to total between $1.42 and $1.46, which also excludes the purchasing company.

-Worldwide net new unit openings of between 140 and 180 restaurants, including between 40 and 60 net openings in the U.S., and between 100 and 120 net openings in international markets.

-A planned increase in the domestic royalty rate from 4.5 percent to 4.75 percent, effective at the beginning of 2010.

Papa John’s and its franchisees operate more than 3,400 restaurants worldwide.

Contact Sarah Lockyer at [email protected].

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