AFC Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE), the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, today reported results for its fiscal third quarter which ended September 30, 2012. The Company also raised earnings guidance for fiscal 2012 and provided a business update on its Strategic Plan.
Third Quarter Highlights:
- Reported net income was $6.9 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, compared to $5.8 million or $0.24 per diluted share in 2011. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.29, compared to $0.25 last year. Through the end of the third quarter, adjusted earnings per diluted share were $0.91 compared to $0.75 last year, an increase of 21%. Adjusted earnings per diluted share is a supplemental non-GAAP measure of performance. See the heading entitled “Management’s Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
- Global same-store sales increased 6.3% rolling over a 1.7% increase in the third quarter of 2011. Through the end of the third quarter, global same-store sales increased 7.1% rolling over a 2.2% increase last year, for a two-year same-store sales growth of 9.3%.
- According to independent data, in the third quarter, Popeyes domestic same-store sales outpaced the Chicken QSR category for the 18 th consecutive quarter and the QSR category for the 4 th consecutive quarter.
- Global system-wide sales increased 10.5% rolling over a 5.5% increase in 2011 for a two-year growth rate of 16%.
- The Popeyes system opened 28 new restaurants during the third quarter and permanently closed 23 restaurants, resulting in 5 net openings compared to 1 in the prior year. Through the end of the third quarter, the Popeyes system opened 79 new restaurants and permanently closed 56, for 23 net restaurant openings compared to 24 in 2011.
- Through the end of the third quarter, Operating EBITDA increased by 18.6% to $40.9 million, at 31.2% of total revenue, compared to $34.5 million, at 29.4% of total revenue, in the prior year. Operating EBITDA is a supplemental non-GAAP measure of performance. See the heading entitled “Management’s Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
- The Company generated $26.3 million of Free Cash Flow through the third quarter compared to $22.1 million last year. As a percentage of Total Revenue, Free Cash Flow increased to 20.0% compared to 18.8% last year. Free Cash Flow is a supplemental non-GAAP measure of performance. See the heading entitled “Management’s Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
AFC Enterprises CEO Cheryl Bachelder stated, “We delivered another solid quarter with a 16% increase in adjusted EPS stemming from strong global same-store sales of 6.3%. With strong advertising and our distinctive Louisiana food, we are successfully driving traffic into our restaurants and winning market share from the broader QSR category. We are ideally poised for accelerated restaurant growth, both from existing franchisees that are experiencing record profitability, and new franchisees that recognize the brand’s success.”