January comparable sales were favorably impacted approximately 1 percent by the timing of the Super Bowl, which is included in January results for 2003 and in the February results for 2002. January results were also favorably impacted by the timing of the Papa's Cinnapie national promotion, held in January 2003 and supported by national television advertising, while the comparable national promotion in 2002 was the Anniversary Promotion held in February. Accordingly, the timing of both the Super Bowl and the national promotion will negatively impact February comparable sales.
Total systemwide international sales decreased 3.1 percent, on a constant U.S. dollar basis, over the comparable period last year. Due to the political unrest in Venezuela, all 21 franchised Papa John's restaurants in that country remained closed throughout the period, resulting in the year-over-year sales decrease. Total systemwide international sales increased 6.3 percent, on a constant U.S. dollar basis, over the comparable period last year, excluding sales results for Venezuela in both periods.
The company also announced that it expects fourth quarter earnings per share to be near the lower end of the previously announced range of $0.58 to $0.61. The favorable impact of share repurchase activity and low commodity costs is expected to be offset by losses approximating $1.7 million related to a terminated vendor relationship. Full year earnings per share are therefore also expected to be near the lower end of the previously announced range of $2.30 to $2.33.
The company further announced the completion of a $175 million revolving line of credit expiring in January 2006, replacing the previous, $200 million line that was due to expire in March 2003. The new credit facility includes an accordion feature that provides for an expansion up to $225 million, subject to the receipt of additional commitments from the lenders.
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