LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Australia

KFC Australia sales drive Collins Foods' “strong” growth

Collins Foods, the Australian operator of KFC, Taco Bell and Sizzler, reported a strong year, seeing positive results across the board.

In its FY19 results, the ASX-listed company saw its revenue increase 16.9% to $901.2m compared to $770.9m during the previous period.

Net profit after tax was $39.1m, up by 20.3% from FY18.

KFC Australia significantly contributed to growth, bringing in $120 million during the year, up 20.9% from FY18.

"Over the past 12 months we have consolidated our position as the largest KFC operator in Australia, with initiatives around digital and delivery expected to drive further growth," Collins Foods CEO and managing director Graham Maxwell said in the announcement.

The company now has 64 KFC restaurants delivering directly to customers on the Deliveroo and Menulog platforms.

Seven new restaurants were built and opened during FY19, whilst two were closed.

In Europe, Collins Foods says its KFC expansion is on track, with 37 stores opened in the continent during the financial year, including four newly-built restaurants.

"In Europe, we are refining our KFC offering with a renewed focus on value to drive transactions. Taco Bell continues to perform in-line with expectations, with four stores now opened and strong customer engagement with the brand,” Maxwell explained.

The group also said that its rollout of Taco Bell in Australia is progressing, primarily in Queensland.

Four Taco Bell restaurants are now open in the state, and 10 more are planned to open before the end of the year, including the planned entry into Victoria in early 2020.

Sizzler Australia also saw some growth, but performing better in Asia where revenue was up 12.%. At the end of the financial year, Collins operated 77 Sizzler restaurants in Asia, predominantly in Thailand.

Overall, Sizzler revenue was down 8% due to the closure of two Sizzler restaurants in Australia during the year.

For FY2020, Maxwell says the company will focus on expanding its network and continue to focus on digital initiatives.

"Throughout our KFC Australia network, we plan to increase the rate of new restaurants builds from eight to nine, to nine to 10 in FY20," he said.

The company previously announced that Maxwell will retire in just over 12 months on July 1, 2020, replacing him with the current chief operating officer of its Australian operations, Drew O’Malley.

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