Feb 27 (Reuters) - DineEquity Inc, owner of the Applebee's and IHOP restaurant brands, reported a 34 percent fall in quarterly profit following the sale and refranchise of Applebee's company-operated restaurants and due to higher income taxes.
The company, which has been selling restaurants to franchisees, said fourth-quarter net income fell to $18 million, or 97 cents per share, from $27.3 million, or $1.51 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, DineEquity earned 83 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Total revenue fell 35 percent to $158.6 million.
Fourth-quarter sales at U.S. restaurants open at least 18 months rose 0.9 percent at Applebee's and fell 2.6 percent at IHOP.