US-based Burger King franchisee Carrols Restaurant Group posted a net income of $900,000 for the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 against a net loss of $21.3m last year.

For the March quarter, total restaurant sales were $445.2m versus $399.5m in the Q1 of 2022.

The company said that comparable restaurant sales for its Burger King restaurants jumped 11.7% compared to an increase of 1.6% last year.

Comparable restaurant sales for the company’s Popeyes restaurants rose by 9.5% compared to a rise of 2.2% in the same period a year ago.

Popeyes restaurants accounted for 5.2% of total restaurant sales in the Q1 of 2023, Carrols Restaurant said.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for Q1 was $30.7m versus $4.3m a year ago.

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Adjusted Restaurant-Level EBITDA soared to $54.5m from $22.5m in the prior year’s Q1.

The company reported a free cash flow of $1.1m compared to a negative free cash flow of $39.1m in the prior year’s quarter.

Carrols CFO Tony Hull said: “The first quarter marked a strong start to 2023 as we posted double digit top-line growth, including an 11.7% increase in our Burger King comparable restaurant sales.

“More importantly, with moderating inflation and improved operational efficiencies, we were able to flow through much of the $46m year-over-year increase in our first quarter sales and posted our best first quarter restaurant-level adjusted EBITDA margin in five years at 12.2%.

“We believe our performance in the past two quarters has showcased the power of our operating model as we have sustained top-line growth and a renewed focus on operational excellence. We are excited about the positive momentum in our business and what we believe we can achieve during the remainder of the year.”