MIAMI-Burger King executives plan to double the net restaurant openings in fiscal year 2008, citing positive results for fiscal year 2007, along with 154 net new restaurants. John Chidsey, CEO, said in a conference call Friday that the chain will open a net 300 new restaurants in the next 12 months, mostly in the international marketplace.

The company posted great numbers for the fiscal Q4 and the fiscal year. Worldwide comp sales were up 4.4% for the quarter and 3.4% for the fiscal year. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $590 million, up 11% from Q4 2006. For the year, the company reports revenues of $2.234 billion, an increase of 9% from the prior year. Executives credit opening all stores for late-night service and promotions that included hits such as Spiderman 3, The Simpsons and Spongebob Squarepants with the increase in sales.

Growth extended to the restaurant construction. The company opened 441 new Burger King stores in fiscal 2007, a 26% increase from the previous year. That translates to a net 154 stores, less than the company expected number of more than 200 restaurants. “This number is lower due to 25 delayed openings in Germany and the Middle East, and having to close 30 distressed locations in the United Kingdom,” Chidsey said in the call.

He said the company plans to increase new restaurant count to 300. “This upcoming year, we’ll have more restaurants operating than we ever have in the history of the brand,” Chidsey said. The company currently operates more than 11,200 restaurants worldwide, with about 90% of them operated by franchisees.

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