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Friday November 17th, 2017 12:18PM

Dunkin' CEO: We will always make the doughnuts

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Dunkin' Donuts is still deciding whether to drop the second part of its name, but the doughy treats won't be disappearing from the menu.

CEO Nigel Travis said Thursday that the chain wants to remain the "No. 1 retailer of doughnuts."

He said a second store with just the Dunkin' name will open in Quincy, Massachusetts, the city where the company was founded, in the next year or so. A location in Pasadena, California, is already testing the shortened name, though Travis said no decision has been made on whether to use the simpler name nationwide.

"My two young kids think it should stay Dunkin' Donuts forever," he said.

At about 1,000 Dunkin' Donuts locations, the company has been making cuts to its overall menu, including some doughnut varieties, to make the stores easier to run for franchisees, Travis said. He said too many different types of coffee syrups, sandwich breads and other items makes it harder on employees.

Higher sales at its Dunkin' Donuts stores buoyed revenue in the third quarter at Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., which also owns Baskin Robbins, the company said Thursday. Sales of coffee and espresso at Dunkin' Donuts stores climbed, while frozen beverage sales fell.

Travis said that morning sales at Dunkin' Donuts increased at a faster rate than full-day sales, due to its two-for-$2 egg and cheese wraps. He said he's "optimistic" about its latest promotion, two-for-$5 egg and cheese croissants.

Value menus have been a success with customers, with McDonald's this week crediting $1 soft drinks, coupons on its app and a two-for-$5 promotion called McPick 2 for higher sales. The fast-food giant plans to offer more cheap eats next year, with items priced at $1, $2 and $3.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Dunkin' reported that revenue rose to $224.2 million from $207.1 million. That beat the $213.8 million that analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research were looking for.

Sales at Dunkin' Donuts locations in the U.S. open at least a year rose 0.6 percent. At the company's ice cream chain Baskin Robbins, the figure dipped 0.4 percent.

The Canton, Massachusetts-based company earned $52.2 million, or 57 cents per share, in the quarter. A year earlier it earned $52.7 million, or 57 cents per share. Earnings adjusted for pretax expenses came to 61 cents per share. That's two cents shy of what Wall Street was calling for.

Dunkin' still anticipates full-year earnings in a range of $2.40 to $2.43 per share.

Shares of Dunkin' Brands rose 40 cents to $55.79 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in Newark contributed to this report.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on DNKN at https://www.zacks.com/ap/DNKN

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