Restaurant Brands New Zealand lifted second-quarter sales as the fast-food operator’s expansion to Australia and Hawaii brought in more cash.

Sales increased 12 percent to $251 million in the 16 weeks ended Sept. 10, the company said. That puts first-half sales 12 percent ahead of last year at $431 million.

New Zealand’s largest fast-food operator is expanding into overseas markets to drive earnings growth. The company, which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee and Carl’s Jr brands in New Zealand, has expanded its business to KFC in Australia and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in Hawaii. Total store numbers lifted by eight compared with the same period last year after the company acquired a further 13 KFC stores in Australia. They were offset by the sale of five New Zealand Pizza Hut stores to independent franchisees.

Almost half its sales, or 47 percent, were generated overseas in the latest quarter. Australia was the biggest contributor to growth, increasing sales by 44 percent to $60.6 million. Sales in Hawaii increased 10 percent to $57.6 million.

New Zealand sales, which account for 53 percent of total sales, advanced 1.7 percent to $132.8 million. The bulk of New Zealand sales were generated by the company’s 94 KFC stores, which lifted revenue 4.9 percent to $104.3 million in the quarter.

Revenue from its local Pizza Hut stores fell 14 percent to $11.3 million in the quarter, which included four of the five store sales to independent franchisees. That took the number of stores it owns to 29, with 69 operated by independent franchisees. Total sales across the Pizza Hut network increased 2.1 percent to $32.5 million.

The company pulled in $7.3 million of revenue from the 22 New Zealand Starbucks Coffee stores. It is selling the chain local operators next month after two decades of operation.

The firm’s newest New Zealand brand, burger chain Carl’s Jr, recorded a 7.3 percent drop in sales to $9.9 million from its 18 stores, one fewer than the year-earlier period.

Restaurant Brands expects to publish its first-half earnings on Oct. 18.

Its shares last traded at $7.66, and have increased 21 percent during the past year.

Tina Morrison was a Dominion newspaper scholar and worked for Bloomberg News before joining BusinessDesk in 2013.

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