Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes restaurants, reported selected unaudited results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year which ended December 25.
Popeyes Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Bachelder says, “We are pleased to report another year of strong growth for the Popeyes brand. We generated annual global same-store sales growth of 1.7 percent. Our footprint continues to expand with 216 net new global openings: 118 domestic and 98 international. We are excited about our future and achieving our long-term strategic growth goals. The Popeyes team remains dedicated to serving our franchisees well and creating value for our shareholders.”
Global same-store sales increased 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter with an increase in domestic same-store sales of 3 percent. The fourth quarter compounded two-year global same-store sales growth was 5.7 percent. For the full year, global same-store sales increased 1.7 percent. Annual compounded two-year global same-store sales growth was 7.7 percent.
During the fourth quarter, the Popeyes’ system opened 52 domestic and 37 international restaurants, bringing full year 2016 openings to 216 restaurants, compared to 219 restaurants last year. The Popeyes system permanently closed 57 restaurants in fiscal 2016, resulting in net new restaurant openings of 159 restaurants, compared to 166 net restaurants in 2015.
The company is currently in discussions with its lenders regarding a $150 million expansion of its current $250 million revolving credit facility with the intention to increase total leverage ratio to 2.5 to 3.5 times by the end of 2017. The company plans to provide an update on uses of cash and additional debt capacity during its fourth quarter earnings call.