Wingstop Inc. same-store sales in the U.S. increased 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 26 and 7.9 percent in fiscal 2015, the company said Monday.
The Dallas-based chicken-wing chain, which is expected to release full fourth-quarter earnings in early February, said the unaudited results exceeded earlier guidance for same-store sales.
Wingstop corporate restaurants saw same-store sales rise 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 9.4 percent for the year, the company said. As of Dec. 26, Wingstop had 767 franchised U.S. restaurants and 19 company-owned locations. Wingstop has 59 units abroad.
As of the third quarter ended Sept. 26, the most recent period for Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the Wingstop system was about 97.5 percent franchised, with 737 franchised U.S. restaurants and 19 company-owned units.
“Based upon our preliminary results, we surpassed our previously raised expectations for domestic same-store sales increases of 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent with 7.9 percent domestic same store sales growth in 2015,” Charlie Morrison, Wingstop president and CEO, said in a statement.
“We have now realized 12 consecutive years of same-store sales growth,” Morrison said. “We have also seen continued growth in our online sales mix, which was 15 percent of our domestic systemwide sales during the fiscal fourth quarter.”
The company now expects revenue for the year to be $77.6 million to $77.9 million, an increase from earlier guidance of $76.8 million to $77.2 million.
Wingstop had 133 net unit openings in the fiscal year, increasing its restaurant count by 18.7 percent, to 845 locations worldwide, as of Dec. 26.
“Unit growth is a critical component of our long-term plan,” Morrison said.
“Our pipeline has never been stronger and stands at 530 domestic development commitments as of year-end,” he said, adding that a 35-unit development agreement signed in December with Murray, Utah-based Sizzling Platter LLC was Wingstop’s largest to date.
For the most recent third quarter, Wingstop reported net income of $3.2 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $2 million, or 8 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Adjusted for costs associated with Wingstop’s initial public offering last year, profit rose 25 percent, the company said. Revenue increased 16.5 percent, to $19.1 million, in the quarter.
Besides its U.S. restaurants, Wingstop has franchised units in Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.