19 Oct 2011

Fast food profit down

12:26 pm on 19 October 2011

Profit at fast food operator Restaurant Brands has fallen by half, mainly due to store closures after the Christchurch earthquake, and fewer sales.

The company owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks chains.

Restaurand Brands declared a reduced dividend of 6.5 cents per share.

Shares in the company fell 21 cents, or 9.7%, to $1.95 on Wednesday morning.

Profit fell 44% to $7.5 million in the six months to 12 September, compared with the same period a year ago.

Revenue fell 6% to $167 million. Restaurant Brands say 40% of that is due to February's earthquake in Christchurch closing stores and disrupting sales, and closing or selling Pizza Hut stores.

Excluding non trading items, the company's profit fell 38% to $8.6 million.

Restaurant Brands says the economic downturn persists, with demand remaining subdued, while higher costs are also squeezing margins, curbing the amount of money it can make.

Looking ahead, Restaurant Brands expects to make a full year profit of $20 million.