* Fourth-quarter earnings/share $0.24 vs est $0.23
* Revenue falls 34 pct due to re-franchising
* Same-restaurant sales rise 0.2 pct in the United States
Feb 13 Burger King Worldwide Inc, known
for its Whopper hamburgers, reported a better-than-expected 37
percent jump in quarterly profit as new products, including the
Big King sandwich and Satisfries french fries, drew customers in
Burger King has been adding attention-grabbing items to its
menu, such as low-fat fries and bacon sundaes, to tempt diners
away from rivals McDonald's Corp and Wendy's Co.
McDonald's, the world's No. 1 fast-food chain, reported
weaker-than-expected quarterly sales at established restaurants
last month as fewer diners frequented its outlets.
In contrast, Burger King on Thursday reported a 1.7 percent
rise in system-wide comparable sales for the fourth quarter
ended Dec. 31. Analysts on average had forecast a 1.30 percent
increase, according to Consensus Metrix.
Burger King's sales at established restaurants in the United
States and Canada rose 0.2 percent, blowing past the average
analyst estimate of a 0.4 percent decline.
Burger King also posted strong growth in the Asia-Pacific
region, with comparable sales growth of 6.2 percent, driven by
strength in Australia and South Korea.
The company's net income rose to $66.8 million, or 19 cents
per share, in the quarter, from $48.6 million, or 14 cents per
share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Burger King earned 24 cents per share.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 23 cents per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue fell 34 percent to $265.2 million, primarily
due to the net re-franchising of 360 company-owned restaurants
in 2013. Analysts had expected $270 million.
Burger King's shares were little changed in premarket
trading on Thursday. They closed at $25.48 on the New York Stock
Exchange on Wednesday.