October 27, 2015 / 11:20 AM / 2 years ago

Burger King owner's profit tops Street on lower costs, new menu items

(Reuters) - Restaurant Brands International Inc QSR.TO QSR.N, owner of Burger King and Tim Hortons, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by new menu items and lower costs.

A Burger King logo is pictured outside a restaurant in San Jose, Costa Rica October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

The company’s shares were trading up 6.6 percent at C$53.48 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Most of Restaurant Brands outlets are in the United States and Canada. But the company has been opening new restaurants in France, Brazil, Russia and India, following its peers such as Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts KKD.N, McDonald’s Corp MCD.N and Yum Brands (YUM.N).

Oakville, Ontario-based Restaurant Brands said China, where it has a relatively smaller presence than its peers, is one of its fastest growing markets.

Burger King opened in India last year and the company may launch its coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons in the country, Chief Financial Officer Joshua Kobza told Reuters.

Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have been expanding in the fast-growing India market, while Cafe Coffee Day, the country’s biggest coffee chain, is going public.

BREAKFAST DEMAND

Tim Hortons’ comparable sales increased 5.3 percent in the third quarter, helped by the launch of new breakfast items, lunch wraps and continued demand for beverages.

Breakfast is the only U.S. restaurant meal time seeing an uptick in customer visits and Burger King was the No. 4 choice for “Breakfastarians”, according to recent survey.

Burger King’s comparable sales increased 6.2 percent, helped by new menu items such as Fiery Chicken Fries and the Extra Long Jalapeño Cheeseburger. Burger King opened 141 new restaurants during the three months ended Sept. 30.

The company, posting third-quarter results for the first time, said total operating costs and expenses declined about 9 percent to $675.7 million.

Net profit attributable to shareholders soared to $49.6 million, or 24 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $9.6 million, or 5 cents per share, in the second quarter.

On an adjusted basis, Restaurant Brands earned 34 cents per share, beating analysts average estimate of 28 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s quarterly revenue fell 2 percent to $1.02 billion, slightly missing analysts’ estimate of $1.04 billion.

Restaurant Brands’ stock had risen a little more than 10 percent this year through Monday.

Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto, Sneha Banerjee and Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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