Lifestyle

Restaurant Brands lifts NZ sales by $51m; Covid closures cost it $26m


Fast-food continued to be popular during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alden Williams/Stuff

Fast-food continued to be popular during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fast-food company that owns the local franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Carl’s Jr, made an extra $51 million in sales in New Zealand last year, but estimates it lost about $26m of sales as a result of Covid-19.

Restaurant Brands’ sales in New Zealand increased to $461.1m in 2021, from $410.4m in 2020, the company said in a statement to the NZX on Thursday. The company estimates it lost $26m in sales in 2021 due to Government-mandated store closures, compared with $40m of lost sales in 2020.

Sales of fast-food have proved popular during Covid-19, with New Zealand making international headlines when queues of cars lined up outside KFC and McDonald’s after the country’s Covid-19 alert levels were relaxed to allow takeaways.

Restaurant Brands had 137 stores in New Zealand at year’s end, having added new Taco Bell stores in Dunedin, Rotorua and Auckland and a new KFC store in Auckland. Two Carl’s Jr stores in Auckland were converted to other brands, one to KFC and the other to a Taco Bell.

READ MORE:
* Restaurant Brands turns mild profit, furthers Taco Bell plans
* Fast-food demand bolsters sales at KFC, Carl’s Jr, despite Covid-19 restrictions
* Restaurant Brands’ half-year profit hard hit by Covid-19

Globally, the company has 359 stores across Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and California.

Sales across the group rose 20 per cent to $1.1 billion, with about $100m of the increase due to an extra eight months trading from its purchase of 69 KFC and Taco Bell stores in California in 2020.

LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff

Fried chicken can be real comfort food. Packed with salt and other flavours, it initiates a hedonic response in the brain. Too much of it, however, can lead to health issues.

“Restaurant Brands responded strongly to Covid-19’s continuing impact on the business in all markets, despite the challenging trading environment, government-mandated restrictions and changes in consumer behaviour,” the company said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Restaurant Brands received $29.2m in New Zealand Government wage subsidies, according to government data.

Shares in Restaurant Brands slipped 0.2 per cent to $14.52 in mid-afternoon trading, and have gained 24 per cent over the past year.

Some 75 per cent of Restaurant Brands is owned by Mexican-based investor Finaccess Capital SA de CV through its subsidiary Global Valar SL.

The company’s annual earnings will be released on February 28.



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