Carl's Jr star on Restaurant Brands menu

Restaurant Brands has improved its third-quarter sales, thanks largely to the new Carl's Jr burger chain.

The listed company, which owns Carl's Jr, KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks, reported sales for the 12-week period to December 2 improved by 5.4 per cent, or $3.9 million, compared to the same period last year.

Total sales across the four brands were $76.2m.

Carl's Jr, a burger restaurant chain launched in November last year, was the largest contributor with sales of $3.9m for the period, Restaurant Brands said.

Starbucks Coffee sales increased 2.7 per cent, with Pizza Hut down 0.4 per cent and KFC total sales dropping 0.1 per cent during the quarter compared to last year.

Restaurant Brands group same-store sales were up 0.2 per cent, it said.

Pizza Hut led the same-store sales growth with an increase of 12.7 per cent, Starbucks Coffeewas up 7.7 per cent but KFC's same-store sales fell 2.7 per cent.

The company opened three new Carl's Jr stores during the quarter, bringing the total to eight. Total year-to-date sales for the burger chain were $10.6m.

Total sales for Pizza Hut for the quarter were in line with last year at $11m. Pizza Hutt had eight fewer stores than it did at the same time last year.

Restaurant Brands said it had continued its strategy of selling regional and lower-volume Pizza Hutt stores to independent franchisees.

There were 52 Pizza Hut stores at the end of the quarter compared to 60 in the previous year, with 32 now operated by independent franchisees, the company said.

Year-to-date sales for Pizza Hut were $37.6m, an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Total sales for KFC for the quarter decreased 0.1 per cent to $55.3m.

Year-to-date sales for KFC were $184.6m, an increase of 1 per cent compared to last year.

During the quarter a KFC store opened at Auckland International Airport bringing the number of stores to 90.

Starbucks Coffee's quarterly sales were $5.8m, up 2.7 per cent and year-to-date sales $18.8m, down 1.2 per cent on last year.

During the quarter two stores were closed, at Mt Maunganui and at College Hill in Auckland, bringing total stores to 27 at the end of the quarter, the company said.

Restaurant Brands shares today traded at $2.80, up 5.7 per cent compared to a year ago.

Fairfax Media