Papa John’s delivered yet another quarter of positive same-store sales and is planning to buy back $500 million worth of shares from investors.
The pizza brand posted its 27th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales in North America, which rose by 1.4 percent in Q2, and executives said the share repurchasing shows a confidence in the brand going forward.
“We have more clarity than we ever had before on the mission statement and where we’re really going long-term,” said Steve Ritchie, president and chief operating officer, in a conference call. “We’ve had a heck of a run the last seven or eight years here for the brand, even though sales have slowed a little bit here in the U.S. over the last couple of quarters, we really are in a transformative time and are more confident than ever in the long-term future of the brand.”
Papa John’s named former Wendy’s executive Brandon Rhoten as its global chief marketing officer in the second quarter, and the new appointment will intensify the brand’s digital heavy marketing approach.
“We’re shifting a lot of our discussion to acting like an e-commerce company,” Rhoten said in a conference call. “Fundamentally, more than half of our transactions come across digital platforms and we have to step up and act like we’re an ecommerce company and advertise like we’re an ecommerce company; so you’re seeing us consider avenues of advertising and media that we really haven’t in the past.”
About 60 percent of Papa John’s domestic sales came from digital channels in the second quarter, and 70 percent of those sales were through mobile channels. In June, Papa John’s introduced instant ordering through its Facebook page.
While the company experienced 3.9 percent same-store sales increase internationally, it has not been performing well in India and has pulled out of the market entirely, closing 66 stores.
“Unfortunately the restaurants were not able to meet the joint expectations of Papa John’s and the franchisee of the India market,” Ritchie said.