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Comparable sales for the first quarter benefited from the timing of the company's national Anniversary promotion; the promotion ran during the first quarter of 2001 (January and February) and in the second quarter of 2000 (April). Accordingly, the company will experience more difficult comparable sales comparisons for April and the second quarter of 2001.
"We continue to make excellent gains in brand awareness and market share in a very competitive marketplace,'' said John Schnatter, Papa John's founder, chairman and chief executive officer. "We continue to lead the category in comp sales growth, and during the quarter did it with an industry leading $15,000 per store average among our corporate comp base restaurants. Our commitment to quality is really paying off."
The company also announced that it expects to be at the upper end of its previously issued earnings per share range of $.51 - $.55 for the first quarter. First quarter earning and operating results will be released after the close of the market on May 1, 2001.
At April 11, 2001, there were 2,649 Papa John's restaurants (647 company-owned and 2,002 franchised) operating in 49 states and ten international markets. Papa John's also owns or franchises 201 Perfect Pizza restaurants (3 company-owned and 198 franchised) in the United Kingdom.