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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Burger King 2Q profit increases 19 per cent, tops estimate

A burger and fries at a Burger King in Richardson, Texas on June 20, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, LM Otero

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A burger and fries at a Burger King in Richardson, Texas on June 20, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, LM Otero

MIAMI - Burger King Worldwide Inc. said its profit climbed by 19 per cent in the second quarter as lower costs and growth overseas boosted results.

The Miami-based company said global sales at established locations rose 0.9 per cent. While the figure edged up just 0.4 per cent in the U.S. and Canada, it rose 3.7 per cent in Asia.

Traditional fast-food chains such as Burger King and McDonald's have been struggling to boost sales in the U.S., with more people heading to places such as Chipotle and Panera. But Burger King has been focusing on striking deals with local operators in developing markets to build more restaurants.

The company has more than 13,000 locations globally, compared with more than 35,000 for McDonald's. Burger King executives have said that gives them considerable room for expansion around the globe, particularly because Burger King is such a well-known brand.

For the quarter, Burger King said profit increased to $75.1 million, or 21 cents per share. Adjusted for one-time gains and costs, earnings came to 25 cents per share, which was two cents above what Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $62.9 million, or 18 cents per share.

Revenue declined 6.1 per cent to $261.2 million. That was below the $263.3 million analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Burger King shares have risen $3.52, or 15 per cent, to $26.38 since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased $6.62, or 34 per cent, in the last 12 months.

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