FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

Restaurant Brands lays out ‘aggressively-paced' rollout plan for Taco Bell

It wants more than 60 stores across Australasia by 2024.

Taco Bell is set for further expansion in the next five years, according to its New Zealand-headquartered operator Restaurant Brands.

“We have signed a development agreement to bring this iconic brand to New Zealand and New South Wales and ACT in the Australian market. Our plans are already progressing with the first stores expected to open during the 2019 calendar year,” Restaurant Brands chief executive officer Russel Creedy told shareholders.

“This will be followed by an aggressively-paced rollout with more than 60 stores planned to open across Australasia by 2024.”

The company, which also operates KFC stores in NSW, the New Zealand franchises for KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl's Jr. and the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut franchises in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan, said it saw “another excellent result” for FY2019.

Total group sales were NZ$794 million, an increase of over NZ$53 million or 7.2% on the previous year, having benefited from the performance of 18 KFC stores acquired in Australia last year.

Year-end total store numbers, Creedy said, stood at 283, made up of 142 stores in New Zealand, 61 in Australia and 80 in Hawaii.

“This saw the KFC Australia business deliver strong sales of AU$178 million, an increase of 27.8%. Store EBITDA rose by 33.7% to a new high of AU$27 million. The business also delivered a pleasing lift in margins to 15.2% of sales,” he explained, adding that they will expand the roll out of their external delivery service which they trialled in 26 of their Sydney metro stores.

NZ$45m NPAT eyed
The company expects to deliver an underlying profit of NZ$45 million.

“We expect the group will deliver an NPAT – excluding non-trading items – result for the new financial year of in excess of $45 million,” he said. The projection does not include any major new acquisitions during the year and the adverse impact of new accounting standards for the treatment of leases.

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