• Papa John's notches positive Nov. sales, warns Dec. sales may drop

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) announced in a release that domestic systemwide comparable sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 24 increased 1.5 percent (composed of a 4.7 percent increase at company-owned stores and a .4 percent increase at franchise stores).

Total systemwide international sales increased 5.7 percent on a constant U.S. dollar basis over the same period last year.

November comparable sales were helped by the inclusion of the Thanksgiving holiday in the company's Period 11 last year versus its placement in Period 12 this year. Papa John's estimates the timing difference boosted November 2002 domestic systemwide comparable sales 3.7 percent.

It estimates, however, that December comparable sales will be hurt by the timing difference. Because the dollar impact will be spread over five weeks in December versus four weeks in November, it expects December comparable sales will drop approximately 2.9 percent.

As of Nov. 24 there were 2,791 Papa John's stores (595 company owned and 2,196 franchised) operating in 49 states and nine international markets. Papa John's also owns or franchises 146 Perfect Pizza stores (one company owned and 145 franchised) in the UK.

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