Arcos Dorados Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
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Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ARCO) ("Arcos Dorados" or the "Company"), Latin America's largest restaurant chain and the world's largest McDonald's franchisee, today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.
First Quarter 2012 Highlights
-- Revenues increased by 11.5% year-over-year, or by 16.6% on a constant currency basis, to US$ 921.6 million, with continued strong contribution from Company-operated and franchised locations across the region
-- Systemwide comparable sales increased by 11.6% year-over-year
-- 86 net additions of restaurants during the last 12 months, with an accelerated year-over-year pace in openings
-- Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased by 8.0% year-over-year, or by 12.2% on a constant currency basis, to US$ 78.1 million
-- Net income amounted to US$ 25.4 million, a 28.4% decrease compared to one year ago
"Arcos Dorados' first quarter performance was in line with our expectations and is emblematic of our ability to consistently grow sales and produce solid operating profits," said Woods Staton, Chairman and CEO of Arcos Dorados. "Our unique positioning as one of the world's most dominant brands in relatively underserved markets provides us with significant growth opportunities, as well as important resilience to country-specific fluctuations in consumption."
"We continue to strategically build out our regional footprint in order to take full advantage of rapid population growth and an emerging middle class in our targeted markets, while working to increase profitability through additional operating efficiencies. As a result, we are confident in our ability to continue to grow our business and expect second half 2012 performance to outpace that of the first."
First Quarter of 2012 Results
Arcos Dorados' first quarter revenues increased by 11.5% to US$ 921.6 million. On a constant currency basis, revenue growth was 16.6%. The increase was driven by systemwide comparable sales growth of 11.6% and the net addition of 86 restaurants during the last 12-month period.
Systemwide comparable sales growth of 11.6% was primarily a reflection of average check growth when compared to one year ago.
Brazil revenue growth of 4.6% was in line with the Company's expectations and reflected slower overall consumption levels across the country in the early part of the year, with systemwide comparable sales growth of 5.5% in the quarter. NOLAD's (Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica) revenues gained by 8.8% year-over-year, with a systemwide comparable sales increase of 6.8%, due primarily to increased traffic. SLAD's (Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Uruguay) revenues grew by 26.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011, mainly driven by a 27.9% increase in systemwide comparable sales. This increase in comparable sales reflected strong average ticket and guest count growth in most countries in the division. The Caribbean division (Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Aruba, Curacao, French Guiana, Trinidad & Tobago, US Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix) reported revenue growth of 3.2% compared to the first quarter of 2011. This included a strong contribution from the newly added territory of Trinidad & Tobago, combined with an increase in systemwide comparable sales of 2.3%, despite weak economic growth in this region.
Adjusted EBITDA(1) for the first quarter of 2012 was US$ 78.1 million, an 8.0% increase over the same period of 2011 (or 12.2% on a constant currency basis). The increase in Adjusted EBITDA(1) was mainly driven by revenue growth and reductions in Food & Paper costs as a percentage of sales. These improvements were partially offset by (i) higher payroll expenses mainly related to the mandatory yearly increase in minimum wages in Brazil, which exceeded increases in average check over the same period; (ii) higher royalty expenses in Brazil related to the recognition of tax on royalty payments (CIDE), as explained in last quarter's release, which was not recorded in first quarter 2011, and which was partially offset by lower royalty fees in the SLAD division due to temporary royalty relief agreed with McDonald's Corporation for Venezuela; and (iii) higher G&A expenses, including increased payroll resulting mainly from the impact of inflation significantly above currency devaluation in Argentina (where the majority of corporate headcount is located) as well as headcount increases consistent with regional growth opportunities; and (iv) increased professional services related primarily to information system upgrades, reflecting the expanded regional needs and intended to strengthen the systems for expansion. Additionally, share-based compensation related to ongoing CAD and EIP grant, which is included within G&A expenses, amounted to a benefit of US$ 1.3 million in 2012 compared to a charge of US$ 3.3 million in 2011. The benefit recognized in 2012 includes the effect of remeasuring the liability of the CAD program as a result of the decrease in the quoted market price of the Company's shares, generating a gain in 1Q12 of US$6.0 million.
The Adjusted EBITDA(1) margin as a percentage of total revenues was 8.5% for the quarter, down less than 30 basis points from the first quarter of 2011. The result demonstrates the Company's profitability in spite of modest economic expansion in the Caribbean and a delayed pick-up in overall consumption in Brazil.
Despite the increase in Adjusted EBITDA(1), operating income decreased mainly due to higher depreciation expense, as the Company has increased its capital expenditures, and lower gains from the sale of property and equipment.
During the quarter, the Company strengthened its brand position in all markets by providing attractive menu offerings that include core McDonald's products, as well as customized options that reflect local tastes and customer needs. The Company also maintained the highest customer service levels in the worldwide McDonald's system and is executing its ambitious restaurant opening and reimaging program to take advantage of favorable demographic trends.
Net income attributable to the Company was US$ 25.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, in comparison to US$ 35.5 million in the same period of 2011, and this decrease is mainly explained by lower operating results, higher foreign exchange losses, along with higher tax charges, which were partly offset by lower cost of funding.
Non-operating results deteriorated mainly as a result of a net charge of US$ 3.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 from a loss in foreign currency exchange results, mainly relating to cash remittances from the Venezuela operation at a weighted average exchange rate above the official exchange rate resulting in a charge of US$ 6.6 million, which was partly offset by the positive impact of currency movements on intercompany loans.
Non-operating charges were partially offset by lower overall financing costs (including derivatives) mainly due to a "debt restructuring" in July, 2011. This restructuring included the settlement of the majority of the Company's derivative instruments and the issuance of a BRL bond, resulting in an increase in interest expenses that was more than offset by reduction in losses from derivative instruments in the quarter.
Income tax expense for the period totaled US$ 12.1 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 32.3% for the quarter.
The Company reported basic earnings per share (EPS) of US$ 0.12 in the first quarter of 2012, compared to US$ 0.15 in the previous corresponding period. The variation was a result of lower net income partly offset by a lower weighted-average number of outstanding shares (please refer to Axis Split-off and IPO explanations in previous releases for more detail).
Balance Sheet & Cash Flow Highlights
Cash and cash equivalents were US$ 144.3 million at March 31, 2012. The Company's total financial debt (including derivative instruments) was US$ 540.1 million, which included US$ 306.6 million corresponding to the accounting balance of the 2019 USD Notes and R$ 400 million (equivalent to US$ 219.6 million) related to the BRL 2016 Notes issued in July, 2011. Net debt (total financial debt less cash and cash equivalents) was US$ 395.9 million and the Net Debt/Adjusted EBITDA(1) ratio was 1.1 at March 31, 2012. Cash generated from operating activities was US$ 7.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. During the quarter, capital expenditures amounted to US$ 40.6 million.
Quarter Highlights & Recent Developments
Annual General Shareholders' Meeting
On April 9, 2012, the Company held its Annual Shareholders' Meeting, where all matters were approved.
On April 20, 2012, the Company's Board determined a cash payment of US$ 50.0 million for 2012, through four equal installments. The first of which amounts to a cash dividend of US$ 12.5 million or US$ 0.0597 per share on outstanding Class A and Class B shares to be paid on May 4, 2012, to shareholders of record at May 2, 2012. Subsequent payment dates are to be determined by the Board of Directors.
On April 19, 2012, the Company re-opened its existing 10.25% Brazilian-real denominated notes issue due 2016 for a notional amount of R$275 million (equivalent to approximately US$ 146 million). The notes sold in the offering were issued at a price to the public of 102.529% plus accrued interest for the period from and including January 13, 2012 up to but excluding April 24, 2012. The notes were offered in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A. (For additional information please refer to related 6k filing).
On April 24, 2012, the Company settled the coupon-only cross-currency interest rate swap agreements (bond swaps) before its maturity paying $3.0 million. On the same date, the Company entered into a reverse cross-currency swap for R$ 70 million agreement to hedge the cash flows of a portion of the 2016 notes issued. With this, the Company has significantly reduced the impact of Real currency volatility over its capital structure (including intercompany loans) in the income statement.