Burger King fuels Restaurant Brands profit beat


Restaurant Brands International’s first-quarter profit topped analysts’ estimates on Tuesday, vindicating the company’s strategy of cheaper meals and more breakfast options at the Burger King chain.

The company, which is striving to better compete with McDonald’s and Yum Brands’ KFC, said same-store sales at Burger King rose 3.8 percent in the three months ended March 31, under its new accounting standards.

Analysts on average had expected same-store sales to rise 3.5 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At Tim Hortons, where the company is dealing with the fallout of bad publicity from its reaction to minimum wage increases in the country, comparable sales fell 0.3 percent in the quarter.

Restaurant Brands CEO Daniel Schwartz said on Tuesday the company introduced a plan to help improve sales at the Tim Hortons chain.

Many Tim Hortons franchises cut back on employee perks and benefits when Ontario raised minimum wages by 21 percent to C$14.

Restaurant Brands said it changed its accounting standards at the start of the year to reflect a change in the timing of franchise fee revenue and other items.

Net income attributable to shareholders tripled to $151 million, or 60 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31.

Excluding items, Restaurant Brands posted earnings of 66 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 56 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $1.07 billion.

Under the new accounting standards, the company had a profit of $147.8 million and revenue of $1.25 billion.

Restaurant Brands’ U.S.-listed shares were up 1.4 percent at $54.25 in premarket trading.

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