Restaurant Brands New Zealand lifted second-quarter sales by 41 per cent after the fast-food operator expanded its footprint through Australia and Hawaii.

The Auckland-based company said sales increased to $224.9 million in the 16 weeks ended September 11, from $159.5m in the equivalent period a year earlier. New Zealand sales rose 5.3 per cent to $130.6m, while Australian sales jumped 19 per cent to $42.2m and its Hawaiian operations added $52.1m. On a same-store basis, sales rose 6.7 per cent.

New Zealand's largest fast-food operator is expanding into new overseas markets to drive future earnings growth. In April 2016 it expanded into KFC in Australia and in March 2017 bought the largest fast-food operator in Hawaii. Chief executive Russel Creedy told shareholders at the annual meeting in June that the company was now "truly international" and expected sales this financial year to exceed $700m, up from $497.2m last year. Today's release showed sales in the first half of the year were up 51 per cent to $386.1m.

In New Zealand, the company's 92 KFC stores lifted sales 8 per cent in the second quarter to $99.4m with the benefit of an additional store. Its 34 Pizza Hut stores increased sales 2.9 per cent to $13.2m despite having three fewer stores due to sales to independent franchisees which now own 60 Pizza Huts.


Sales at its 23 Starbucks Coffee stores dipped 6.4 per cent $7.3m after it closed its Botany store during the quarter, reducing the store numbers by two compared with the year-earlier period. On a same-store basis, Starbucks sales lifted 6.5 per cent. Sales at the company's 19 Carl's Jr outlets fell 6.1 per cent to $10.7m due to strong sales in the year-earlier period following two new store openings in Christchurch and the closure of the poor performing Otahuhu store at the end of last year. On a same-store basis, Carl's Jr sales dipped 2.3 per cent.

In Australia, the company acquired 42 KFC stores in New South Wales on April 27, 2016, and acquired another five independent KFC franchise stores in the first quarter of this year. The 47 stores contributed A$39.2m in sales during the second quarter, up 16 per cent from the year-earlier or 6.2 per cent up on a same-store basis.

Its Hawaiian-based operations include 37 Taco Bell and 45 Pizza Hut stores in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan acquired on March 7, 2017, which contributed US$38.1m in the second quarter. Of the 82 stores, the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut stores at Pearl Harbour are temporarily closed due to infrastructure work on the base and are scheduled to reopen in May 2018.

The company's shares advanced 0.5 per cent to $6.37.