SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TAST) of Syracuse, the largest Burger King franchisee in the U.S., has reported a net loss of $11.5 million, or 32 cents a share, in the first quarter that ended March 31.
That’s compared to a loss $3.1 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, Carrols said in its earnings report issued Wednesday.
The net loss in this year’s first quarter included more than $900,000 of impairment and other lease charges and $2.7 million of acquisition expenses, the company noted.
Carrols’ first-quarter results included restaurant sales that totaled nearly $291 million, up 7.1 percent from $271.6 million in the prior-year quarter. Comparable-restaurant sales increased 2.4 percent, down from the 6.2 percent increase that Carrols posted in the first quarter of 2018.
Carrols on April 30 completed its previously announced merger with Memphis, Tennessee–based Cambridge Franchise Holdings, LLC, which resulted in Carrols’ acquisition of 165 additional Burger King and 55 Popeyes restaurants in 10 Southeastern states.
Carrols currently operates 1,010 Burger King and 55 Popeyes restaurants in 23 states following the acquisition and is the largest franchisee of Toronto, Ontario–based Restaurant Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: QSR), the franchisor of Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons restaurants. Carrols has operated Burger King restaurants since 1976, the company said.
Carrols CEO reaction
Despite “solid” revenue growth, continued labor-cost “pressures” and promotional activity that accelerated during the second half of last year “negatively affected” restaurant level profitability on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter, according to Daniel Accordino, chairman and CEO of Carrols Restaurant Group.
“Although discounting was much higher relative to the first quarter of 2018, these elevated levels began to taper off mid-way through the first quarter this year resulting in a modestly lower impact sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2018. We expect the impact from this discounting to subside as we move further into the year,” Accordino said in the earnings report.
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