MIAMI-Burger King is set to open more units this year than management had previously anticipated, but the fast-food chain is closing a higher-than-expected amount as well. The chain is on track to open about 430 new units worldwide, while shutting 210 to 230, executives reported during their third-quarter conference call.

The company has opened in excess of 300 stores so far this fiscal year, with most of the growth coming in Latin America and Europe. Store openings are up nearly 40% compared to last year and 50% over each previous year. The closures are due, in part, to restructuring efforts in the UK and the Philippines.

During the quarter, which ended March 31, worldwide same-store sales rose 3.2%. In North America, they were up 2.6%, and in the US alone, restaurants posted a 2.7% gain. Across the rest of the globe, comparable sales shot up 5.3%.

Management says that increasing its efforts to increase the number of US stores with hours open after midnight from 60% to system-wide by the end of May will give same-store sales a boost. It will also give them a bit of an edge on competitor McDonald’s, which has a sizable number of units with those hours, says John Chidsey, Burger King’s chief executive officer. “We’re the ones playing catch up,” he says. “You’ve really got to be competitive.”

Total revenues for the quarter grew 9%, to $539 million, while net income rose to $34 million, after the company posted a $12-million loss during the same year-ago period. Burger King operates about 11,200 restaurants in 65 countries.

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