Dunkin’s US customer traffic slows, expansion plan trimmed

–Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — Dunkin’ Donuts says customer traffic to its U.S. stores slowed during the second quarter compared to a year ago, and that it expects to add fewer new locations this year than previously expected.

The chain says customer traffic declined at established locations, marking the fifth straight quarter the figure has dropped. But higher spending per visit pushed up sales by 0.8 percent at established locations.

CEO Nigel Travis noted that the chain’s loyalty program and other plans could help attract customers. To improve operations at its U.S. stores, for instance, Dunkin’ plans to expand a simplified menu it has been testing to 1,000 locations by October. In some locations, Travis said the test includes removing non-breakfast sandwiches from the menu. The chain had introduced sandwiches to boost food sales throughout the day, but Travis said people get breakfast sandwiches later in the day as well.

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For the year, Dunkin now expects to add between 330 and 350 additional locations, down from its previous forecast of 385 new locations. The company cited upcoming new store models and investments required for new equipment and technology for the conservative outlook. Dunkin’ said it still expects to finish the year as one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the country.

Overseas, Dunkin’ sales fell 2.8 percent at established locations during the quarter. Baskin Robbins’ sales dropped 0.9 percent in the U.S., and rose 3.3 percent at established locations overseas.

For the quarter ended July 1, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. earned $55.7 million, or 60 cents per share. Earnings adjusted to exclude one-time items were 64 cents per share. That was 2 cents better than analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

The Canton, Massachusetts-based company’s total revenue was $218.5 million in the period, which missed Street forecasts.

Dunkin’ expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.40 to $2.43 per share.

Dunkin’ shares, which dropped 7 cents to $52.45 in Thursday trading, had increased slightly since the beginning of the year. The stock had climbed 14 percent in the last 12 months.

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This story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DNKN at https://www.zacks.com/ap/DNKN

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Keywords: Dunkin’ Brands, Earnings Report