Burger King proclaimed its new breakfast menu a success even as it outlined depressed sales during the past quarter.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2010, Burger King comparable sales in the U.S. and Canada dropped 4.2%, pulling down its global numbers. In EMEA/APAC (Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific), Burger King comp sales rose 1.4% compared with 2009, aided by new products such as the Spicy Mexican Whopper. In Latin America, comp sales were up 6.9%, leaving the chain with a net global drop in comp sales of -1.7% for the quarter. This was the first quarterly report for Burger King Holdings since it was acquired and taken private by 3G Capital.
Burger CFO Ben Wells said the chain saw “an increase in breakfast sales and traffic” this quarter, but did not say by how much. But if breakfast is a success, how did Burger King domestic comp sales drop? The company says it was “adversely impacted by high levels of unemployment and underemployment and weak consumer confidence.” Additionally, it says 2010 sales suffered by comparison with the 2009 quarter because the chain was heavily couponing last year, backing $1 Double Cheeseburger.
Chief Marketing Officer Mike Kappitt said sales for the nine-item breakfast menu were balanced, with more core and premium-price items (such as the BK Ultimate Breakfast Platter) purchased than value-price items (BK Breakfast Muffin).
For the quarter, average restaurant sales declined to $314,000 from $321,000 a year ago. Trailing 12-months average restaurant sales held steady at $1.237 million. That compares with an estimated $2 million unit average for McDonald’s.