• Papa John's U.S. same-store sales drop in 4Q and '02

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Papa John's International, Inc. today announced domestic systemwide comparable sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 29, 2002, decreased 3.5 percent (composed of a 0.3 percent decrease at company-owned stores and a 4.5 percent decrease at franchise stores).

According to a release, November same-store sales were favorably impacted but December comparable same-store sales were negatively impacted by the inclusion of the Thanksgiving holiday in Papa John's accounting period 12 this year versus period 11 last year.

The company estimated the timing difference hurt December domestic systemwide same-store sales by approximately 2.9 percent. On a combined basis, which eliminates the impact of the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday, comparable sales for the nine weeks comprising our Period 11 and Period 12 decreased 1.3 percent (composed of a 1.9 percent increase at company-owned stores and a 2.3 percent decrease at franchise stores).

Total systemwide international sales decreased 4.5 percent, on a constant U.S. dollar basis, over the comparable period last year. Political and economic uncertainties in Venezuela, the release said, kept Papa John's 22 franchised franchised stores there closed throughout the entire period. The result was a year-over-year international sales decrease.

Excluding sales results for Venezuela in both periods, total systemwide international sales increased 4.9 percent on a constant U.S. dollar basis over the comparable period last year.

Domestic systemwide same-store sales decreased 2 percent for the quarter ended Dec. 29 (composed of a 0.4 percent increase at company-owned stores and a 2.8 percent decrease at franchise stores), and decreased 1.3 percent for all of 2002 (composed of a 0.2 percent increase at company-owned stores and a 1.8 percent decrease at franchise stores).

Total systemwide international sales increased 1.5 percent for the quarter and 5.6 percent for the full year on a constant U.S. dollar basis over the comparable periods last year.

Excluding Period 12 sales results for Venezuela, total systemwide international sales increased 5.2 percent for the quarter and 6.6 percent for the full year on a constant U.S. dollar basis over the comparable periods last year.

In the release Papa John's also announced the appointment of Daniel Cousineau as managing director of Papa John's/Perfect Pizza operations in the United Kingdom. Cousineau replaced Tony Sherriff, who the company said resigned to pursue other interests.

During 1998-99, Cousineau served as divisional vice president of Domino's Pizza International, where he oversaw franchise operations in Europe and the Middle East. Cousineau also oversaw Domino's purchasing, distribution and development for the company's franchise operations in Europe, Latin America and Asia from 1996 to 1998.

At Dec. 29, there were 2,792 Papa John's stores (594 company-owned and 2,198 franchised) operating in 49 states and nine international markets. Papa John's also franchises 144 Perfect Pizza stores in the United Kingdom.

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