company, which also owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain,
said in October its franchisees hiked prices by 3 percent to
offset the impact of a rise in minimum wages for workers.
The launch of all-day breakfast by McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> in
October and several limited-time offers by rivals such as
Wendy's Co <WEN.O> and Burger King <QSR.TO> may have also hurt
traffic at Dunkin' Donuts in the quarter, analysts had said.
Sales at stores open for at least 18 months fell 0.8 percent in
the fourth quarter ended Dec. 26, compared with a year earlier.
Analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix were expecting
sales to increase by 0.8 percent.
The company's Dunkin' Donuts outlets in the United States
account for about three quarters of its total revenue.
Nearly all of the company's more than 11,700 Dunkin' Donuts and
7,600 Baskin-Robbins restaurants are owned and operated by
Dunkin' Brands reported a net loss attributable to the company
of $8.9 million, or 10 cents per share, in the quarter, compared
with a profit of $52.5 million, or 50 cents per share, in the
same quarter of 2014.
The company said it took a $54.3 million impairment charge
related to its Japanese joint venture.
Excluding items, the company earned 52 cents per share, above
analysts' average estimate of 50 cents, according to Thomson
Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $203.8 million, in line with the
average analyst estimate of $203.3 million.
The company forecast 2016 Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store
sales to grow by up to 2 percent and Baskin-Robbins' to rise by
Dunkin' Brands said it expected full-year sales growth of 4-6
percent, which works out to $843.4 million-$859.6 million.
Analysts were expecting $852.1 million.
The company raised its quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share
from 27 cents and boosted its share buyback plan to $200
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru, Editing by Anil
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