Priszm Pursuing Refinancing Options

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TORONTO — Priszm Income Fund, the operator of the majority of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in Canada, is looking to focus on sales growth in 2010 while it pursues refinancing options, says a report in The Globe and Mail.

Thanks to lagging same-store sales, it has also agreed to upgrade 75 of its restaurants in this year, at a cost of up to $16.5 million, to try and drive more traffic back to the restaurants.

At Priszm’s recent annual shareholders’ meeting, CFO Deborah Papernick said, “In light of these capital requirements, and to provide greater flexibility, management is actively pursuing refinancing options.”

The fund is currently carrying $101.6 million in debt, with sales of $441.8-million in 2009. Same-store sales fell 7.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a year earlier.

“Growing restaurant sales is a key priority for Priszm,” Papernick said. “Sales recovery is a key focal point and we, along with other members of the KFC Canada franchise community, are working closely with the franchisor Yum! Canada to improve performance in this area,” she added.

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