April 3, 2013 / 9:21 PM / 4 years ago

NZ's Restaurant Brands year profit dips, but seen improving

WELLINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) - New Zealand fast food operator Restaurant Brands Ltd reported on Thursday a 3.9 percent fall in full-year profit due to increased costs, although the company said it expected profits to pick up in the current year.

The company, which operates the KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Carl's Junior franchises, reported a net profit, excluding non-trading items, of NZ$17.7 million ($14.9 million) for the year ended Feb. 28, down from NZ$18.4 million a year ago.

Net profits after tax including non-trading items was NZ$16.2 million from NZ$16.9 million last year.

Restaurant Brands declared a dividend of 9.5 cents per share, unchanged from a year ago.

Total store earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation edged up to NZ$51.5 million higher than forecasts for NZ$40.4 million, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of three analysts.

Last month the group said full-year sales rose 1.2 percent to NZ$311.9 million because of higher sales at KFC and Pizza Hut and the newly launched Carl's Junior, while adding that sales at Starbucks had fallen.

Shares in the company last traded steady at NZ$2.72, having hit a lifetime high of NZ$2.97 hit last month. ($1 = 1.1845 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu)

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