U.S. Markets closed

Dunkin' Donuts posts flat U.S. comparable sales in 1st-qtr

(Adds details)

May 4 (Reuters) - Dunkin' Brands Group Inc said on Thursday sales at established Dunkin' Donuts stores in the United States were little changed in the first quarter, hurt by a decline in store traffic.

Sales at U.S. Dunkin' Donuts outlets open for more than a year — which make up about three-fourths of the Dunkin' Brands' revenue — were expected to rise 0.8 percent, according to analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

This led Dunkin' Brands, which also owns the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, to report lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue.

The results came amid an "increasingly challenging environment for retail and restaurants," Dunkin' Brands Chief Executive Nigel Travis said.

The company said net income rose to $47.5 million, or 51 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 1, from $37.2 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

The rise in net income was helped by a tax benefit due to a new accounting standard for share-based compensation.

Excluding items, the company earned 48 cents per share, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Dunkin' Brands' Revenue increased slightly to $190.7 million, missing analysts' expectation of $192.2 million. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)