Picture: 123RF/FRANCIS DEAN
Picture: 123RF/FRANCIS DEAN

Bengaluru — Restaurant Brands International’s quarterly profit beat expectations on Friday, as product launches, including the plant-based Impossible Whopper, drew diners to Burger King, and its investments abroad paid off.

Restaurant Brands shares, which have risen 42% this year, were up as much as 4.2% at a record high of C$100.35.

Fast-food chains in North America are exploring ways to add faux-meat offerings to their menu, as more customers switch to vegan diets. Burger King was one of the first publicly listed burger chains to join the vegan bandwagon.

In April, the burger maker, known for its Whopper burgers, and plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods started selling their vegan burger Impossible Whopper in 59 stores in and around St Louis, Missouri, with nationwide sales expected by this month.

“The August launch of the Impossible Burger will give bulls reason to stay constructive,” Bernstein analysts said in a note on Friday.

Restaurant Brands, which also owns coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons and fast-food restaurant chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, said Burger King was seeing strength outside the US, particularly in China, India, Brazil and Spain.

Tim Hortons also serves breakfast sandwiches made with faux-meat burger maker Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage in Canada. The restaurant chain is set to enter Thailand, its third market in Asia, while Restaurant Brands is also expanding its fast-food restaurant chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen into Spain.

Restaurant Brands, which has more than 26,000 restaurants globally, said in May it plans to expand all three of its brands to more than 40,000 restaurants globally in the next eight to 10 years, making it one of the largest restaurant companies in the world.

Comparable sales at Burger King, the largest business of Restaurant Brands, rose 3.6% in the second quarter. Sales at Tim Hortons and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen increased 0.5% and 3%, respectively.

The company’s net income fell 18% to $257m in the quarter ended June 30. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 71c per share, while analysts, on average, had estimated 65c, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reuters