Burger King profit beats estimates; initiates dividend

Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:36am EDT

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Burger King Worldwide Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as new items on the fast-food chain's menu and accompanying advertising campaigns helped boost same-restaurant sales in the United States and Canada.

The company, which went public in June, initiated a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents per share.

The Miami-based chain, known for its "Whopper" hamburgers, traditionally focused on young males, but it is working to broaden its appeal by adding items like fruit smoothies and salads that traditionally appeal to women.

The third-largest U.S. hamburger chain, behind McDonald's Corp and Wendy's Co, said net income fell to $6.6 million, or 2 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $38.8 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 17 cents per share.

Analysts expected earnings of 15 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The U.S. and Canada comparable sales rose 1.6 percent in the quarter, driven by Burger King's Summer BBQ and chicken offerings.

System-wide comparable sales, or sales at company-owned and franchise restaurants open at least 13 months, rose 1.4 percent.

Three analysts polled by Consensus Metrix estimated a 1.56 percent gain in same-restaurant sales.

Revenue fell about 26 percent to $451.1 million due to refranchising deals and a stronger dollar, Burger King said.

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