Sales and earnings growth in its international division led the way for a 13.7-percent gain in first quarter profit at Papa John’s International Inc.

The Louisville, Ky.-based parent of the Papa John’s Pizza chain recorded net income of $19.3 million, or 85 cents per share, compared with $16.98 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

For the March 31-ended first quarter, Papa John’s revenue rose 7.3 percent to $355.6 million, reflecting same-store sales gains of 1.6 percent in North America and 8.2 percent for the international division.

“We are pleased to maintain our momentum in the first quarter, with solid increases in earnings per share, global comparable sales and unit builds,” founder and chief executive John Schnatter said in a statement. “We are excited about both the health of the pizza category and the strength of the Papa John’s brand as we continue to grow around the world.”

The brand opened 34 net new restaurants worldwide during the period.

Papa John’s domestic system comprises 649 company-owned restaurants and 2,572 franchised units, and its franchised international system has 976 restaurants in 34 countries.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com
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