Burger King's revamped menu is a hit, profit rises

Wed Aug 1, 2012 8:45am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Burger King Worldwide Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as new items on the fast-food chain's menu, and accompanying advertising campaigns, helped boost sales in the United States and Canada.

The Miami-based chain, known for its "Whopper" hamburgers, has historically focused on young males, but it has recently attempted to broaden its appeal by adding fruit smoothies, salads, bacon ice cream sundaes and BBQ sandwiches to its menu.

The third-largest U.S. hamburger chain, behind McDonald's Corp and Wendy's Co, said net income rose to $48.2 million, or 14 cents per share, in the second quarter, from $30.2 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned 17 cents a share, topping analysts' average estimate of 14 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 9.2 percent to $540.8 million. System-wide comparable sales increased 4.4 percent.

Burger King shares closed at $15.32 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company went public in June at $14.50 a share.

Burger King's return to the stock market came less than two years after it was taken private in a $3.26 billion sale to Brazilian investment fund 3G Capital Management LLC. It went public through a "reverse-merger" in which Justice Holdings, a traded shell company co-founded by hedge fund veteran Bill Ackman, absorbed Burger King.

(Reporting By Arpita Mukherjee, Brad Dorfman and Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Viraj Nair and John Wallace)