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LOUISVILLE, KY-Pizza chain Papa John’s plans to open between 225 and 250 restaurants next year, up from this year’s target of 210 to 240 units. Executives are also predicting a same-store sales increase of between 1.5% and 2.5% year over year during 2007.

Capital expenditures are forecast to come in at $50 million next year, one-third of which is going toward the opening of company-owned restaurants. The rest of those dollars will go toward cost-reduction measures and maintenance capital for its existing units.

The new-store openings will be split 50-50 between domestic and foreign markets. The new units represent 4% to 5% US growth and 30% to 35% international expansion. Papa John’s currently operates 2,994 restaurants in the US and 26 countries. About 22% of its domestic units are company owned, with the rest owned by franchisees, and management wants to increase that share to 25% in the next few years.

Papa John’s recently acquired its franchise operations in Beijing, consisting of five restaurants, for $4.3 million, giving the company the rights to develop there and in the surrounding region. The acquisition will allow the company better support its franchise owners in other parts of Asia, says Robb Chase, president of Papa John’s international division.

Management is predicting that total revenues in 2007 will come in around $1.1 billion, a 5% to 7% jump over this year’s. The acquisition of restaurants from franchisees, higher domestic same-store sales and international store growth could all contribute to the hike, company officials say.

Papa John’s executives are forecasting earnings per share for the current fiscal year to total between $1.45 and $1.49. For the following year, they are pinpointing earning per share of $1.48 to $1.56.

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