Brinker earnings advance in 2Q

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DALLAS – Increased restaurant sales and traffic lifted Brinker International earnings results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The company reported total revenues of $681.9 million, an increase of 1.5 percent.

Earnings per diluted share advanced 23.7 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 to $0.47 compared to 0.38 in the same year-ago period. Restaurant operating margins increased 50 basis points to 17.9 percent compared to the same period in 2011. Chili's restaurant sales increased 1.4 percent and customer traffic advanced 1.1 percent, the company said. Customer traffic at Maggiano's increased by .6 percent, while comparable sales rose 2.8 percent.

"Brinker delivered another strong quarter as evidenced by a 24 percent increase in our EPS," said Doug Brooks, president and chief executive officer. "This marked Brinker's fourth consecutive quarter of comp sales and traffic growth, which demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategies, the strength of our team and the receptivity of our guests to the changes we're making to our business. We are confident we'll deliver on our promise to double EPS by 2015."

Chili's realized second-quarter revenues of $554.8 million, which represents a 1.2 percent increase from $548.3 million in the prior-year period. Increased guest traffic and menu prices were growth drivers in the quarter, according to Brinker.

The company said lower repair and maintenance expense, credit card fees, workers' compensation insurance expenses and sales leverage on fixed costs related to higher revenue positively impacted restaurant expense. However, higher pricing on oils, beef, produce and dairy negatively impacted the cost of sales. Favorable pricing on poultry partially offset this impact, according to the company.

Maggiano's recorded second-quarter revenues of $110.9 million, an increase of 2.9 percent primarily driven by increased menu prices and improved traffic, Brinker said.

Revenues from royalties and franchises totaled $16.2 million for the quarter, an increase of 2.5 percent over the prior-year period driven primarily by 22 international net openings since the second quarter of fiscal 2011, the company said. International comparable restaurant sales advanced 4.8 percent while domestic franchise comparable restaurant sales increased 1.7 percent. Brinker franchisees generated $389 million in sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, an increase of 4.5 percent over the prior year.

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