August 2, 2019 / 10:58 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 2-Restaurant Brands dishes up profit beat on product launches at Burger King

(Adds details on segments, background, shares)

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Restaurant Brands International Inc's quarterly profit beat analysts' expectations on Friday, as product launches including the plant-based Impossible Whopper drew diners to Burger King, and foreign investments paid off.

Fast-food chains in North America are exploring ways to add faux meat offerings to their menu, as more customers switch to vegan diets. Burger King was one of the first publicly listed burger chains to join the vegan bandwagon.

The burger maker, which is known for its Whopper burgers and onion rings, partnered with plant-based burger maker Impossible Foods and started offering the Impossible Whopper in April in 59 stores in and around St. Louis, Missouri. The company is expected to launch the burger across the United States this month.

Comparable sales at Burger King, the company's largest business, rose 3.6% in the second quarter. Sales at Tim Hortons cafe and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen were up 0.5% and 3%.

In May, Restaurant Brands said here it plans to expand all three of its brands to more than 40,000 restaurants globally in the next eight to ten years, making it one of the largest restaurant companies in the world.

Most recently, Tim Hortons has entered into an agreement to develop the brand in Thailand with WeEat Company, and Restaurant Brands has reached another agreement to expand the presence of its fast-food restaurant chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen into Spain.

Tim Hortons has also launched three varieties of plant-based Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwiches.

Revenue of Restaurant Brands, which has over 26,000 restaurants globally, rose 4.2% to $1.4 billion in the second quarter.

The company's net income fell to $257 million, or 55 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, from $314 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 71 cents per share, while analysts on average had estimated 65 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Since the start of the year, the company's U.S.-listed stock has gained nearly 42%, and its shares were up over 1% in premarket trading after the results. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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