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Burger King’s quarterly profit up 42 percent

Burger King Holdings Inc., the nation’s No. 2 hamburger chain, said Thursday its profit surged 42 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Burger King Holdings Inc., the nation’s No. 2 hamburger chain, said Thursday its profit surged 42 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, driven by a rise in sales at established locations and a slew of promotions.

The Miami-based chain said it earned $51 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, up from $36 million, or 26 cents per share, a year ago.

The earnings beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations by 3 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $646 million from $590 million a year ago. Analysts predicted revenue of $634.6 million.

Sales in restaurants open at least a year, a key indicator of restaurant performance, jumped 5.3 percent worldwide and climbed 5.5 percent in the U.S. and Canada.

The sales boost came close to matching that of the chain’s biggest rival, McDonald’s Corp., which reported a rise of 6.1 percent worldwide in its latest quarter.

Burger King credited several promotions — including one for the Whopper tied to the Indiana Jones movie “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” — with the rise in same-store sales.

The chain also said extended hours at its U.S. locations helped increase sales there. The company has mandated that its franchise locations open early and stay open late to match efforts by competitors to entice more early-risers and night owls.

The addition of another 110 restaurants worldwide also added to the company’s overall revenue, Burger King said.

For the year, Burger King said its net income rose 28 percent to $190 million, or $1.38 per share, from $148 million, or $1.08 per share in the prior year.

Revenue rose to $2.46 billion from $2.23 billion in 2007.

For fiscal 2009, the company said it expects profit of $1.54 to $1.59 per share. Analysts expect profit of $1.56 per share.