Domestic system-wide comparable sales for the year ended December 26, 2004 increased 0.1% (composed of a 0.5% increase at company-owned restaurants and flat results at franchise restaurants). System-wide comparable sales results increased 0.9% for the last half of 2004, as compared to a 0.7% decrease during the first half of the year.
"I'm proud of both our domestic corporate and franchise operators for running positive sales in 2004 in the face of a very tough competitive and operating environment," said Papa John's Founder and CEO John Schnatter. "I have a fundamental belief that if you serve a superior-quality product with good service, a brand can weather tough times because of loyal customers. We're pleased to have positive sales momentum heading into 2005."
Total system-wide international sales increased 6.5% for December, 7.7% for the quarter and 5.0% for the year, on a constant U.S. dollar basis, over the comparable periods last year. "We are well positioned for continued international unit and sales growth as we begin 2005," said Chief Operations Officer Bill Van Epps.
The company also noted that a leading national independent consumer products review and rating publication, in its February edition, has selected Papa John's as the best pizza in a taste test among the three largest national chains. In naming Papa John's the best pizza for football fans on Super Bowl Sunday, the publication describes Papa John's original crust cheese pizza as having "an Italian-style crust (similar to good, slightly chewy Italian bread) and a fresh-tomato flavor that balanced nicely with slightly stringy mozzarella-style cheese and mild herbs and spices. The sauce was sweet."
At December 26, 2004, there were 2,829 Papa John's restaurants (569 company-owned and 2,260 franchised) operating in 49 states and 20 international markets. Papa John's also franchises 118 Perfect Pizza restaurants in the United Kingdom. For more information about the company, visit Papa John's at http://www.papajohns.com.
CONTACT: Papa John's International, Inc.
David Flanery, 502-261-4753
SOURCE: Papa John's International, Inc.