Third Quarter Results
For the third quarter of 2012, franchise and license revenue increased 7.3% to $34.4 million compared with $32.0 million in the prior year quarter. The $2.3 million increase in franchise revenue was primarily driven by a $1.2 million increase in occupancy revenue and $0.9 million increase in royalties due to 60 additional equivalent franchise restaurants. Company restaurant sales of $86.6 million decreased $18.1 million due to 49 fewer equivalent company restaurants compared with the prior year quarter. This decrease reflects the continuing impact of selling company-owned units to franchisees as part of our FGI refranchising strategy that will be completed at the end of 2012. Denny’s total operating revenue, including both company restaurant sales and franchise revenue, was $120.9 million compared with $136.7 million in the prior year quarter.
Denny’s opened 12 new franchised units in the third quarter of this year, including the first international university unit located in Calgary, Canada, at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. During the quarter, Denny’s closed nine franchised and company restaurants and franchisees purchased five company-owned restaurants.
Franchise operating margin increased $1.0 million to $22.3 million primarily due to the increases in occupancy margin and franchise royalties. Franchise operating margin (as a percentage of franchise and license revenue) was 64.9%, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points compared with the prior year quarter, primarily due to an increase in direct franchise costs.Company restaurant operating margin decreased $2.0 million primarily due to a $1.3 million unfavorable workers’ compensation claims development and the impact of selling company-owned units to franchisees. Company restaurant operating margin (as a percentage of company restaurant sales) was 14.7%, an increase of 0.6 percentage points compared with the prior year quarter. The current year quarter included a 1.5 percentage point unfavorable impact from worker’s compensation claims development. Total general and administrative expenses increased $1.4 million compared with the prior year quarter primarily due to higher performance-based compensation accruals.