‘We are well positioned to pursue additional acquisitions and at the same time explore alternatives to return additional capital to our shareholders,Wi according to CEO
TORONTO – Cara Operations Limited.’s drive to real deal up and refurbish a few of Canada’s biggest chains is offering the restaurant giant your much-needed boost in a moribund casual eating out sector.
Shares of the country’s most significant restaurant company leapt Twelve per cent in afternoon exchanging Monday after reporting improved traffic and higher than likely fourth-quarter and annual sales with its 1,272 restaurants throughout the country. Chief executive Bill Gregson also listed improvements in Western The us and continued strength during Ontario since the start of the twelve months when a minimum wage increase took effect in the state.
“In 2016, we went into negative same-store income, and we realized at that time immediately after months that although there were transformed (profitability) and our own balance sheet, we needed metamorph some of our processes as well growing long-term sustainable same-store sales,” ceo Bill Gregson told analysts Saturday on a conference call to discuss personal results.
Same-restaurant sales, an important way of business viability that bunches out the effects of year-over year sq footage increases to the business, expanded 2.5 per cent back then ended Dec. 31 along with 0.7 per cent with the year. That compared with the year-ago period when same-restaurant sales droped 2.8 per cent. Full-year profits by the same measure droped 1.7 per cent throughout 2016.
The owner of Swiss Chalet, Milestones and also the Keg has been scaling up vigorously in an industry mired within a decade-long slump, outpaced by its fast-food counterparts and facing competition from meal-kit providers and grocery stores offering hot meals.
Cara has been shutting down or renovating elderly outlets and opening a new one while it pursues growth by way of a range of digital marketing strategies, including targeted social media efforts, eaterie ordering apps and joint ventures with online delivery aggregators such as UberEats. The Swiss Chalet mobile app currently is the top-rated iOS restaurant app throughout Canada, Gregson said, and the business is set to launch similar purposes for brands including Montana’s, Asian Side Mario’s and Kelsey’s.
As such, Cara has become bucking the trend in its overall dining category: Traffic at full-service dining places in Canada fell several per cent last year, according to consumer research firm NPD, and sales dipped a pair of per cent to $21-billion. At quick-service companies like McDonald’s, overall gross sales rose three per cent in order to $27-billion and traffic rose simply by two per cent.
“After a year of soppy same-restaurant sales and earnings, the business appears to be in the early stages on the turnaround amidst operational developments and a more favourable macroeconomic qualifications,” Peter Sklar, analyst with BMO Capital Markets, said in a research note, upgrading a shares to outperform coming from market perform.
He expects better sales to continue over the up coming several quarters, particularly when using the Keg’s positive contribution, whose same-restaurant product sales have been growing in the three or four per cent range. A stronger overall economy in Western Canada may even give a boost to business, he said: “there really should be notable upside for Cara’s places to eat in the region.”Marketing expert Tony Chapman, leader of Toronto-based Tony Chapman Reactions, explained Cara has become adept at using its size to its advantage.