Dunkin' Brands reports Q3 net earnings of US$29.5M, up from earnings of US$7.4M in year-ago period as company trims expenses enough to offset slowing sales growth at its Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins stores

CANTON, Massachusetts , October 25, 2012 (press release) – Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts (DD) and Baskin-Robbins (BR), today reported results for the third quarter ended September 29, 2012.

"The third quarter marked our fifth quarter as a public company, and our fifth consecutive quarter with double-digit adjusted earnings per share growth. We continue to leverage our asset-light, nearly 100-percent franchised model to drive strong shareholder returns," said Nigel Travis, Chief Executive Officer, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc., and President, Dunkin' Donuts U.S. "With the exceptional growth of the Dunkin' Donuts brand over the past two years and our intense focus on franchisee profitability, our franchisees are seeing very strong unit economics and in turn are driving our robust restaurant expansion across the U.S. Together, we are delivering on our core strategies as well as utilizing new operational and marketing tactics to compete and grow in today's challenging environment."

Operating income for Q3 2011 includes a $14.7 million expense related to the termination of the Sponsor management agreement upon completion of the Company's initial public offering.

Adjusted operating income and adjusted net income are non-GAAP measures reflecting operating income and net income adjusted for amortization of intangible assets, impairment charges, and other non-recurring, infrequent, or unusual charges (including the expense referred to above in footnote 1), net of the tax impact of such adjustments in the case of adjusted net income. Diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share is a non-GAAP measure, calculated using adjusted net income, and gives effect to the conversion of Class L common stock as if the conversion were completed at the beginning of the respective fiscal period for which such shares were outstanding. Please refer to "Non-GAAP Measures and Statistical Data," "Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Non-GAAP Reconciliations," and "Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Diluted Adjusted Earnings per Pro Forma Common Share" for further detail.

Global system-wide sales growth in the third quarter was primarily attributable to Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth (which includes stores open 54 weeks or more), global store development, and growth in Baskin-Robbins International sales.

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth in the third quarter was driven by increased average ticket and higher traffic despite a challenging consumer and competitive environment. The growth resulted from our continued focus on product and marketing innovation with strong beverage sales growth led by cold beverages; strong breakfast sandwich sales across both core offerings and differentiated breakfast sandwiches; continued growth in Bakery Sandwiches; and sales of Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup® portion packs.

Baskin-Robbins U.S. comparable store sales growth was driven by new Flavors of the Month; new signature cake merchandising; and new beverage messaging around Flavors of the Month being available as milk shakes.

In the third quarter, Dunkin' Brands franchisees and licensees opened 187 net new restaurants across the globe. This includes 78 net new Dunkin' Donuts U.S. locations, 74 net new Baskin-Robbins International locations, 36 net new Dunkin' Donuts International locations, and one net closure for Baskin-Robbins U.S. Additionally, Dunkin' Donuts U.S. franchisees remodeled 144 restaurants during the quarter.

Revenues grew by 5.0 percent compared to the third quarter of 2011, primarily from increased royalty income driven by the increase in system-wide sales, and additional company-owned restaurants.

Operating income increased $16.2 million, or 30.0 percent, from the third quarter of 2011 primarily as a result of $14.7 million of one-time expenses incurred in connection with the Company's IPO last year, as well as the increase in royalty income. Adjusted operating income increased $9.5 million, or 12.5 percent, from the third quarter of 2011 primarily as a result of the increase in revenues and continued general and administrative expense leverage.

Net income increased by $22.1 million, or 298.4 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2011 as a result of the $16.2 million increase in operating income and a $14.1 million decline in debt refinancing charges, offset by a corresponding increase in tax expense. Adjusted net income increased by $10.8 million, or 34.4 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2011 as a result of the increase in adjusted operating income and a $5.1 million decrease in interest expense, offset by an increase in tax expense.

Company Updates

As previously announced, the Company repurchased 15 million shares of common stock from its former private equity owners during the quarter. It used $400 million from its recently upsized term loan facility and $50 million in cash on hand to fund the repurchase. The purchase was made concurrently with the closing of a registered offering of shares by those former stockholders that, together with the repurchase, eliminated their ownership in the Company.

The Company executed a 5-year interest rate swap at 4.37 percent for $900 million of its $1.8 billion in outstanding long-term debt (inclusive of the additional $400 million upsize).

The Company today announced that the Board of Directors declared a fourth quarter cash dividend of $0.15 per share, payable on November 14, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 5, 2012.

Fiscal Year 2012 Targets

As described below, the Company is updating certain targets and reaffirming others that it has previously provided regarding its 2012 performance.

The Company expects Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth to be at the low-end of its 4 to 5 percent target range and Baskin-Robbins U.S. comparable store sales growth to be in the middle of its 2 to 4 percent range.

The Company now expects that Dunkin' Donuts U.S. will add between 280 and 300 net new restaurants (previously the range was 260 to 280 net openings) and it continues to expect Baskin-Robbins U.S. will close between 40 and 60 restaurants net. Internationally, the Company continues to target opening 400 to 450 net new units across the two brands. The Company expects to open 620 to 710 net new units globally.

The Company now expects revenue growth of between 6 and 7 percent (previously the range was 7 to 8 percent). This is a result of a change in ice cream shipping terms related to the manufacturing shift to Dean Foods that was announced in July 2012, and as a result of expecting to be at the low end of the targeted range for Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth. The change in shipping terms will result in a one-time delay in revenue recognition that will impact Q4 sales of ice cream products. It continues to expect adjusted operating income growth of between 12 and 14 percent. The targets for revenue and adjusted operating income growth are based on a 52-week year in 2011.

The Company is increasing its range for adjusted earnings per share to $1.25 to $1.27 which represents 33 to 35 percent growth over its $0.94 adjusted earnings per share in 2011 and is an increase from the previous target of to $1.22 to $1.25.

"We are pleased to continue to deliver such strong shareholder value," said Paul Carbone, Dunkin' Brands Chief Financial Officer. "Importantly, by locking in an attractive interest rate for a portion of our outstanding debt, we've added stability to our already resilient and strong cash flow-generating business model."

Conference Call

As previously announced, Dunkin' Brands will be holding a conference call today at 8:00 am ET hosted by Nigel Travis, Chief Executive Officer, Neil Moses, Chief Global Strategy Officer, and Paul Carbone, Chief Financial Officer. The dial-in number is (866) 393-1607 or (914) 495-8556, conference number 39794496. Dunkin' Brands will broadcast the conference call live over the Internet at http://investor.dunkinbrands.com. A replay of the conference call will be available on the Company's website at http://investor.dunkinbrands.com.
The Company's consolidated statements of operations, condensed consolidated balance sheets, condensed consolidated statements of cash flows and other additional information have been provided with this press release. This information should be reviewed in conjunction with this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein are not based on historical fact and are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the applicable securities laws and regulations. Generally, these statements can be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "feel," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "project," "should," "would," and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. These risk and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the ongoing level of profitability of franchisees and licensees; our franchisees' and licensees' ability to sustain same store sales growth; changes in working relationships with our franchisees and licensees and the actions of our franchisees and licensees; our master franchisees' relationships with sub-franchisees; the strength of our brand in the markets in which we compete; changes in competition within the quick-service restaurant segment of the food industry; changes in consumer behavior resulting from changes in technologies or alternative methods of delivery; economic and political conditions in the countries where we operate; our substantial indebtedness; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; consumer preferences, spending patterns and demographic trends; the success of our growth strategy and international development; changes in commodity and food prices, particularly coffee, dairy products and sugar, and other operating costs; shortages of coffee; failure of our network and information technology systems; interruptions or shortages in the supply of products to our franchisees and licensees; the impact of food borne-illness or food safety issues or adverse public or media opinions regarding the health effects of consuming our products; our ability to collect royalty payments from our franchisees and licensees; the ability of our franchisees and licensees to open new restaurants and keep existing restaurants in operation; our ability to retain key personnel; any inability to protect consumer credit card data and catastrophic events.

Forward-looking statements reflect management's analysis as of the date of this press release. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are more fully described in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the section headed "Risk Factors" in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake to publicly update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Non-GAAP Measures and Statistical Data

In addition to the GAAP financial measures set forth in this press release, the Company has included certain non-GAAP measurements, adjusted operating income, adjusted operating income margin, adjusted net income, and diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share, which present operating results on a basis adjusted for certain items and/or reflecting the conversion of our previously outstanding Class L common stock into shares of common stock. The Company uses these non-GAAP measures as key performance measures for the purpose of evaluating performance internally. We also believe these non-GAAP measures provide our investors with useful information regarding our historical operating results. These non-GAAP measures are not intended to replace the presentation of our financial results in accordance with GAAP. Use of the terms adjusted operating income, adjusted operating income margin, adjusted net income, and diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share may differ from similar measures reported by other companies. Adjusted operating income and adjusted net income are reconciled from the respective measures determined under GAAP in the attached table "Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Non-GAAP Reconciliation."
On August 1, 2011, the Company completed its initial public offering. Immediately prior to the offering, each share of the Company's Class L common stock converted into 2.4338 shares of common stock. The number of common shares used in the calculation of diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share for the three months ended September 24, 2011 gives effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of Class L common stock at the conversion factor of 2.4338 common shares for each Class L share, as if the conversion was completed at the beginning of the fiscal period. The calculation of diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share also includes the dilutive effect of common restricted shares and stock options, using the treasury stock method. Diluted adjusted earnings per pro forma common share is calculated using adjusted net income, as defined above. See the attached table "Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Diluted Adjusted Earnings per Pro Forma Common Share" for further detail.

Additionally, the Company has included metrics such as system-wide sales growth and comparable store sales growth, which are commonly used statistical measures in the quick-service restaurant industry and are important to understanding Company performance.

The Company uses "System-wide sales growth" to refer to the percentage change in sales at both franchisee- and company-owned restaurants from the comparable period of the prior year. Changes in system-wide sales are driven by changes in average comparable store sales and changes in the number of restaurants.
The Company uses "DD U.S. comparable store sales growth," "BR U.S. comparable store sales growth" and "International comparable store sales growth," which are calculated by including only sales from franchisee- and company-owned restaurants that have been open at least 54 weeks and that have reported sales in the current and comparable prior year week.

About Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.

With more than 17,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of the third quarter 2012, Dunkin' Brands' nearly 100 percent franchised business model included more than 10,000 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and nearly 7,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. For the full-year 2011, the company had franchisee-reported sales of approximately $8.3 billion. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

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