Brinker 1Q earnings per share up, sales down

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DALLAS – Brinker International Inc. announced for the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 29 earnings per diluted share, before special items, increased to $0.21 compared to $0.12 for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 while total revenues decreased 6% to $654.9 million.

Same restaurant sales at company-owned restaurants decreased 4.2% consisting of a 5% decrease at Chili's and a 1.4% increase at Maggiano's.

In the first quarter, the company repurchased approximately 5.3 million shares of its common stock for $92.7 million and repurchased an additional 4.3 million shares of its common stock for $83.1 million subsequent to the end of the quarter. It also paid a dividend of 14 cents per share in the first quarter, an increase of 27.3% over the prior year quarter.

"Our team is aggressively pursuing several key strategies to continue to build sales and improve margins," said Doug Brooks, president and CEO. "And the rollout of Team Service is already resulting in a better guest experience and better margins."

Chili’s first-quarter revenues of $557.8 million were down 7.7% from the prior year period driven by a 5% decline in comparable restaurant sales. Revenues were also impacted by a net decline in capacity of 3.5% due to the sale of 21 restaurants to a franchisee and nine restaurant closures since the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Restaurant operating margin increased compared to the prior year due to favorable cost of sales driven by the positive impact of changes to value offerings and decreased commodity prices for proteins including ribs, beef and chicken. Restaurant labor was positively impacted by the implementation of team service, largely offset by higher restaurant management compensation and sales deleverage.

Maggiano’s first-quarter revenues were $81.7 million and comparable restaurant sales increased 1.4% primarily driven by improved traffic. This increase represents the third consecutive quarterly increase.
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