Burger King sees comparable sales down, CEO to head to Heinz

April 11 Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:29am EDT

April 11 (Reuters) - Burger King Worldwide Inc on Thursday said key sales are expected to fall in the first quarter despite a pickup in March, and laid out plans for a revamped leadership team as Chief Executive Bernardo Hees prepares to become the CEO of H.J. Heinz Co.

The hamburger chain also said it expects to earn about 17 cents per share on an adjusted basis for the first quarter. The board approved a 20 percent increase in the dividend, bringing it to 6 cents per share, and authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million of common stock, it said.

Burger King said it expects global comparable sales to be down 1.5 percent in the quarter due to a more challenging environment and the impact of 2012's Leap Year. U.S. and Canada comparable sales are expected to fall 3 percent, it said.

Burger King said Hees is set to become vice chairman once he moves to the role of CEO of H.J. Heinz when that company is acquired by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway Inc, or as of July 1, whichever comes first.

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