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AFC Enterprises Reports Earnings For Third Quarter 2013; Narrows Fiscal Year 2013 EPS Guidance

Fiscal 2013 Guidance

We expect the rate of our same-store sales growth to moderate in the fourth quarter. Accordingly, we are revising our guidance for fiscal 2013 same-store sales growth to 3.5% to 4.0% from our previous guidance of 3.5% to 4.5%.

Popeyes now expects its global new openings for 2013 will be in the range of 185 to 195 restaurants, compared to previous guidance of 175-195 restaurants. This includes approximately 8 Company and 65 international restaurants. Many of the planned restaurants are scheduled to open in late December. The Company expects net growth of 100 to 120 restaurants, compared to previous guidance of 85-115 net unit growth. Total net unit growth in 2012 was 66.

The Company is narrowing its adjusted earnings per diluted share range to $1.39 to $1.42, compared to previous guidance of $1.37 to $1.42. Adjusted earnings per diluted share reported in fiscal 2012 were $1.24, including approximately $0.01 for the 53 rd week.

The Company is also providing the following guidance on additional items:

  • General and administrative expenses are expected to be approximately $74 to $75 million in fiscal 2013, at approximately 3% of system-wide sales. Previous guidance was approximately $73 to $75 million. General and administrative expenses as a percentage of system-wide sales remain among the lowest in the restaurant industry.
  • The Company’s effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 37.5% compared to previous guidance of approximately 37%.
  • Depreciation and amortization is expected to be $6.5 to $7.0 million. Previous guidance was approximately $6.0 to $7.0 million.
  • We are increasing the pace of our planned capital investments in high-volume new restaurants. We plan to invest $34 to $36 million, compared to previous guidance of $24 to $28 million. Of the total capital invested during 2013, approximately $21 million will be invested in new and existing company-operated restaurants and another $13 million will be invested in the restaurants we acquired in Minnesota and California.
  • In 2013, the Company plans to repurchase approximately $15 to $20 million of its outstanding shares, continuing its efforts to steadily grow shareholder value.

Long-Term Guidance

Consistent with previous guidance, over the course of the next five years, the Company believes that the execution of its Strategic Plan will deliver on an average annualized basis the following results: same-store sales growth of 1% to 3%; net unit growth of 4% to 6%; and earnings per diluted share growth of 13% to 15%.

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