NPC International Inc., the world's largest Pizza Hut franchisee, reported results for its third fiscal quarter ended Sept. 25, including a 1.3 percent increase in comp store sales, over a 0.4 percent increase during the same period last year.

Year-to-date, comp store sales are up 3.9 percent, rolling over a decrease of 2.5 percent last year.

NPC's president and CEO Jim Schwartz said the results — including a 24-percent increase in Q3 adjusted EBITDA were driven by continued sales growth and margin expansion, fueled by margin management initiatives and a softening commodities environment.

The brand continued to promote value this quarter with its $10 Any Pizza promotion while also introducing its new Garlic Bread Pizza. Schwartz said the brand's strategy of core value, unique product bundling and product innovation continues to resonate well with the consumer.

Additionally, NPC continues to expand Pizza Hut's new "Delco Lite" delivery/carryout model, opening 15 such units during the quarter. Year-to-date, NPC has opened 27 Delco Lites.

"We expect to comfortably exceed our target of 40 new Delco Lites this year; accordingly, we are turning our attention to next year's growth plan. Importantly, these new locations continue to deliver results that are well in line with our return expectations and, as a result, we are enthusiastically targeting another 40 new units in fiscal 2013," Schwartz said.

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