AFC Enterprises reports 0.8% increase in global same-store sales in Q4, now expects fiscal 2013 diluted EPS to be US$1.40-US$1.41

ATLANTA , January 13, 2014 (press release) – AFC Enterprises, Inc. (AFCE), the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, today reported selected unaudited results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year which ended December 29, 2013.

AFC Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Bachelder stated, “We are very pleased with our performance for fiscal 2013. Popeyes’ sustained market share growth and increased restaurant profitability continue to inspire new restaurant openings. The Popeyes system opened more new restaurants in 2013 than in any single year in the last 15 years. The energy and hard work of our franchisees and employees provide the foundation of our 13% to 15% long-term earnings growth plan.”

Global same-store sales increased 0.8% in the fourth quarter, rolling over a 6.2% increase last year. For the full year, global same-store sales increased 3.7%. Two-year global same-store sales growth was 10.6%.

During the fourth quarter, the Popeyes’ system opened 49 domestic and 22 international restaurants, bringing full year 2013 openings to 194 restaurants, compared to 141 restaurants last year. Included in 2013 openings were the conversions of 24 restaurants acquired in Minnesota and California in 2012. The Popeyes system permanently closed 68 restaurants in fiscal 2013, resulting in net unit growth of 126 restaurants, compared to 66 net restaurants in 2012.

The Company expects final general and administrative expenses for fiscal 2013 will be approximately $73.5 million. The Company’s previous guidance was $74 to $75 million at approximately 3.0% of system-wide sales.

Based on its fourth quarter sales and store opening performance, the Company now expects fiscal 2013 reported earnings per diluted share (“EPS”) will be $1.40 to $1.41. Adjusted earnings per diluted share are expected to be $1.42 to $1.43, compared to $1.24 in fiscal 2012, an increase of approximately 15%. The Company's previous guidance for adjusted EPS was $1.39 to $1.42.

The Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for its fiscal year 2013, which ended December 29, 2013, will be filed on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, after market close. The Company will host a conference call on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time to review results and provide guidance for fiscal 2014.

Corporate Profile

AFC Enterprises, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, the world's second-largest Quick-Service Restaurant (“QSR”) chicken concept based on number of units. As of December 29, 2013, Popeyes had 2,225 operating restaurants in the United States, 3 territories, and 28 foreign countries. AFC’s primary objective is to deliver sales and profits by offering excellent investment opportunities in its Popeyes brand and providing exceptional franchisee support systems and services to its owners. AFC Enterprises can be found at www.afce.com.

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