(Recasts with analyst comment)
Oct 26 (Reuters) - Dunkin' Brands Group Inc is brewing up more value offers and personalizing marketing as its flagship U.S. Dunkin' Donuts is locked in a bitter market share battle with rival coffee restaurants and convenience stores.
Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin' Brands is facing brutal competition from McDonald's Corp and Burger King, which have been expanding their coffee and breakfast menus and backing those changes with low-priced specials.
Dunkin' Donuts franchisees, who in the past have resisted value promotions, are now starting to come around on them, Chief Executive Nigel Travis told Reuters.
"Our franchisees are now seeing the value of value and you will see a lot more in the future," said Travis, who is turning his focus to digital strategies that include using the trove of data from Dunkin' Donuts' loyalty app to send customers personalized advertisements and perks.
Shares in the company were up 1.2 percent at $56.01.
Traffic to U.S. Dunkin Donuts restaurants fell about 2 percent in the quarter, marking the sixth straight quarterly decline. It would have been "very close to break even" if not for the hurricanes that shuttered hundreds of units during the quarter, Travis said.
Same-store sales at U.S. Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, which account for roughly 70 percent of overall company revenue, rose 0.6 percent, slightly missing analysts' average estimate.
"In the face of intense competition from McDonald's, we still regard the positive comp as constructive news," Maxim Group analyst Stephen Anderson said in a note.
McDonald's Corp on Tuesday said an increase in customer visits helped drive strong third-quarter results in the United States. Executives said it plans on more aggressive value offers in the United States, where deals include $2 McCafe espresso drinks and a buy 5 get 1 free McCafe promotion on its new app.
Sales at Baskin-Robbins locations open for at least a year fell 0.4 percent in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts on average expected an increase of 0.3 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Net income fell slightly to $52.2 million in the third quarter from $52.7 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, profit was unchanged 57 cents.
Excluding one-time items, Dunkin' earned 61 cents per share.
Total sales climbed 8 percent to $224.2 million. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Meredith Mazzilli)