• Papa John's to open 150-200 stores in 2002

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Papa John's International Inc. (PZZA) said in a company release it may close 50 to 100 restaurants (primarily domestic franchise units) in 2002, while opening 95-135 new domestic franchises, 40 to 55 international restaurants, and 10 to 15 corporate restaurants.

The company also projected 2002 earnings of $2.15 to $2.25, based on domestic system restaurant growth of 3-5 percent, including flat-2 percent comp sales growth. The outlook assumes international system restaurant sales growth of 10-15 percent, and an operating margin of 10-12 percent. Papa John's expects a corporate restaurant operating margin of 18.5-19.5 percent, and commissary, equipment and other operating margins of 9.5-10 percent.

Capital expenditures for 2002 are estimated at $38-$40 million, and pre-opening and other general expenses are projected to be $2.5-$3 million.

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