3 Jun 2009

Restaurant Brands sales rise

2:09 pm on 3 June 2009

Restaurant Brands' Pizza Hut chain has returned to sales growth for the first time in almost four years.

Sales across the group's three brands, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and KFC, rose 4% to $73 million in the May quarter.

Sales at Pizza Hut had lagged for the past 15 consecutive quarters, but have finally turned a corner. Pizza sales rose 5% at stores open at least a year .

Restaurant Brands says that is due to its focus on consistent in-store operations, new products and changes to marketing.

KFC, which has long been the group's star performer and generates two-thirds of the group's sales, notched up an 8% increase.

However, a drop in demand for Starbucks' coffee and food saw same store sales fall 2%.

Restaurant Brands says the weakness at Starbucks is likely to be temporary, but it is reviewing its pricing and products to help turn that around, while still maintaining margins.