• Papa John's November U.S. comp sales drop 5.4 percent

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Papa John's International, Inc. announced a domestic systemwide comparable sales decline of 5.4 percent for the four weeks ended Nov. 25. That figure is composed of a 3.9 percent decrease at franchised restaurants and a 9.6 percent decrease at company-owned restaurants.

Total systemwide international comparable sales, however, increased 17 percent for the same period, on a constant dollar basis.

A company release attributed the sales decline to the fall of the Thanksgiving holiday in Period 11 this year, versus Period 12 last year. Papa John's estimates the holiday accounted for a 3.9 percent drop in sales.

The company does expect December comparable sales will fare better as a result of this timing difference, and because New Year's Eve won't fall in Period 12 this year, as it did last year. The net positive impact of both timing changes is estimated to be a 2.2 percent boost to December systemwide comparable sales.

Papa John's board of directors also extended its $275 million stock repurchase program through Dec. 29, 2002. The current program was set to expire on Dec. 30, 2001. To date, the company has repurchased approximately $214.5 million of its common stock under the program.

As of Dec. 10, there were 2,705 Papa John's restaurants (628 company-owned and 2,077 franchised) operating in 47 states and nine international markets. Papa John's also owns or franchises 193 Perfect Pizza restaurants (3 company-owned and 190 franchised) in the United Kingdom.

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