Thursday, August 23, 2007

Restaurant Brands: Delivering increased profit in October 2007

The profit season in New Zealand rolls on, and by and large things look good company wise considering the sad state of the economy. One company set to announce their profit in October, Restaurant Brands Ltd [RBD.NZ] the operator of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks brands in New Zealand looks set to show an increase in its earnings.

Of course this wouldn't be difficult considering the bad results they have been posting these last 24 months.

RBD's KFC unit has shown another re-growth because of vast sums of shareholder money being thrown at it but it is still off its all-time sales figures way back in the 20th century, still, having said that KFC is still the main and only profit driver for the restaurant group and it is the greasy stuff that will give RBD another shot at breaking its $1 share price barrier again-it listed in 1997 at $2.20 and briefly once touched that price in 2002.

The main problem for RBD though, apart from bad management and poor service, is the competition from its smarter and more motivated rivals.

KFC's position as the number one purveyor of chicken product is being plucked at by several rival chains. Red Rooster and Nandos are picking off KFCs customers piece by piece.

Starbucks has always struggled here and is basically a tax right-off for the company and it has never turned a profit since arriving on these shores in 1999. Operating costs are way too high and revenue hasn't yet matched these expenses.

The biggest threat to RBD though and its Pizza Hut brand, are the inroads that Dominos has made on its sales and profit. In a profit announcement by Dominos today its CEO Don Meij stated:

However, New Zealand EBITDA improved, growing from $1.5 million to $2.7 million. "In New Zealand, Domino's Pizza continues to go from strength to strength, with its EBITDA contribution up 80 per cent during the year."

October's announcement will probably see another big dip in sales for Pizza Hut and everything management have done so far to compete with Dominos has been a dismal failure.

Hopefully shareholders will also find out whether the board have managed to find a new head for the company. Vicki Salmon was pushed out at the beginning of the year and the company dearly need a new direction, any direction really so they can move forward and make some drastically needed changes in operations at head office down all the way down to store level.

In a related matter, Burger Fuel Worldwide [BFW.NZ] the recently listed "gourmet" burger maker, has failed to have its shares traded at all for the last 5 days. We wait in anticipation for a movement soon.

RBD shares closed down 1c to NZ 84c today.

Restaurant Brands @ Share Investor

Finger Lick'n Good Management

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Discuss RBD @ Share Investor Forum

c Share Investor 2007

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