Pizza Hut closures continue in Australia

Dec. 5, 2002

PORT MACQUARIE, Australia -- A Pizza Hut store closure in Port Macquarie in December signals that the company continues to struggle with store failures in its Australian operations.

According to the Port Macquarie News, nine Pizza Hut outlets on the coast and inland went into receivership three months ago and were put up for sale.

Stores in Port Macquarie, Armidale, Tamworth and Lismore stores were not sold and will close, while stores at Nambucca Heads, Grafton, Ballina, Lismore and Tweed Heads will remain open under new ownership.

An employee of one Port Macquarie store, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the business was performing quite well, but that outlet's future hinged on a successful sale.

"It did need a good renovate and that might have turned prospective buyers away," the employee said.

Pizza Hut still operates an estimated 310 stores in Australia, down from a high of nearly 400 several years ago.

In March, Auckland, New Zealand-based franchisor Restaurant Brands bought 51 Pizza Hut stores, 11 from receiver KPMG, and 40 from franchisees.

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