MIAMI — The launches of better-for-you Satisfries and a value burger topped with french fries helped drive traffic for Burger King Worldwide during the third quarter, but U.S. and Canada comparable sales declined 0.3% on soft consumer spending and continued competitive headwinds.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, net income rose sharply to $68,200,000, equal to 19c per share on the common stock, up from $6,600,000, or 2c per share, during the same period of the prior year. Net revenues during the quarter declined nearly 40% as a result of refranchising 519 company-owned restaurants during the trailing 12-month period, but excluding the impact of refranchising and currency movements, revenue increased 8.1% over the prior year due to net restaurant growth and positive comparable sales growth in international markets.
Global comparable sales increased 0.9%, reflecting strong results in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean regions, offsetting the decline in the United States and Canada.
During the quarter, Burger King completed its global refranchising initiative and opened 133 net new units.
“Our positive momentum continued in the third quarter, as we delivered double-digit organic EBITDA growth and industry best-in-class margins,” said Daniel Schwartz, chief executive officer.
The September introduction of Satisfries, crinkle-cut french fries with less fat and fewer calories than traditional fries, underscores Burger King’s new plan to launch fewer, more impactful products going forward.
“We believe that new products like this, combined with our focus on improving operations will enhance the guest experience and drive increased restaurant profitability,” Mr. Schwartz said. “Our exceptional franchisees, partners and employees are aligned to execute on our strategy and we expect to finish 2013 strong.”