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Burger King tops Wall St forecasts on good margins

Burger King reported a quarterly profit that edged past Wall Street’s expectations yesterday, helped by better-than-expected margins.

The second-biggest US hamburger chain after McDonald’s had warned in March that bad weather in the central and eastern United States kept diners away during the quarter and it expected lower revenue and restaurant margins for the period. When the weather conditions improved, restaurant traffic did as well.

Worldwide sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were down 3.7 per cent for the quarter, driven by a 6.1 per cent decline in the United States and Canada.

Over the same period, McDonald’s global sales at established restaurants were up 4.2 per cent, and up 1.5 per cent in the United States.

Burger King had net income of $41m, or 30 cents a share, for the third quarter that ended 31 March. That was down from $47.1m, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 0.5 per cent to $596.9m.