Dunkin' Donuts turning a profit again

Dunkin' Donuts' parent company, Dunkin Brands, returned to profitability in its fiscal fourth quarter as traffic at Dunkin' Donuts stores improved and customers spent more.

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    This file photo shows Dunkin Donuts' "Stars & Stripes" Inaugural Donut. Dunkin Donuts' parent company posted a fourth quarter profit thanks to increased store traffic and customer spending.
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Dunkin' Brands, which owns Dunkin' Donuts and the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, returned to profitability in its fiscal fourth quarter as traffic at its Dunkin' Donuts stores improved and customers spent more.

Dunkin' Donuts stores in the U.S. got a lift from strong beverage sales, limited-time breakfast sandwich offerings and sales of K-Cup portion packs, the company said. Baskin-Robbins benefited from sales of holiday cakes and cake bites.

The Canton, Mass., company reported Thursday that net income of $11.6 million, or 10 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $15.3 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

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Excluding certain items, earnings were 30 cents per share.

This beat the 28 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $168.5 million from $149.8 million, thanks to increased royalty income and ice cream sales.

Wall Street forecast revenue of $160.4 million.

Revenue from Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in the U.S. open at least 54 weeks or more climbed 7.4 percent and rose 5.8 percent for Baskin-Robbins.

This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the year, Dunkin' Brands earned $34.4 million, or 32 cents per share, up from $26.9 million, or 28 cents per share, in the prior year. Annual revenue increased 9 percent to $628.2 million from $577.1 million.

Dunkin' Brands went public in July after being owned for several years by three big-name private-equity firms: Bain Capital Partners, Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The company has more than 10,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations and more than 6,500 Baskin-Robbins restaurants.

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