Popeyes spices up sales at Burger King parent grappling with coronavirus

Popeyes system-wide sales grew 24% in Q2

Restaurant Brands International Inc. sales fell 25 percent in the three months through June as growth at Popeyes countered declining revenue at Burger King and Tim Hortons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Toronto-based fast food holding company reported a second-quarter profit of $164 million, or an adjusted 33 cents per share, on sales of $1.05 billion. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting adjusted earnings of 29 cents on sales of $1.03 billion.

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"The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a host of unprecedented challenges, but our proactive and coordinated response across the globe has helped drive a significant recovery in performance since March,” CEO Jose Cil said in a statement. “By the end of the quarter, we were back to 90% of our prior year system-wide sales with 93% of our restaurants open worldwide.”

Tim Hortons system-wide sales, which include revenue for both franchisees and company-owned restaurants, fell 33 percent from a year ago to $1.1 billion. A decline in comparable sales -- those at stores open at least a year -- that averaged more than 40% during the last two weeks of March narrowed to around 15% by the end of July.

Burger King system-wide sales slumped 25 percent year-over-year to $4.1 billion. Comparable sales were roughly flat in late July compared with last year, an improvement from a decline of more than 30% in late March.

Meanwhile, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen system-wide sales surged 24 percent to $1.25 billion in the second quarter, a gain mirrored at restaurants open at least a year.


Restaurant Brands shares fell 9.46 percent this year through Wednesday, lagging the S&P 500's 3 percent gain.