Brinker’s 2Q earnings, sales up

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DALLAS – Brinker International Inc. reported for its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 26, 2012, earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 6.4 percent to $0.50 compared to $0.47 for the second quarter of fiscal 2012. On a generally accepted accounting principles basis, earnings per diluted share increased 13.6 percent to $0.50 compared to $0.44 for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

Sales increased 1.1 percent to $669.1 million and restaurant operating margin improved approximately 30 basis points to 15.7 percent from 15.4 percent.

Chili's comparable restaurant sales increased 1 percent, representing the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. Meanwhile, Maggiano's comparable restaurant sales increased 0.6 percent, representing the 12th consecutive quarterly increase.

"Brinker continued to take market share again this quarter, as we delivered our eighth consecutive quarter of positive sales growth, despite fewer holiday days in the quarter versus last year," said Wyman Roberts, president and chief executive officer. "This demonstrates that our strategies designed to strengthen our margins, reinvest in our restaurants, and focus on differentiated food and service initiatives are working, as we continue to track to our goal of doubling EPS."

Chili’s second-quarter company sales of $563.3 million represent a 1.2 percent increase from $556.5 million in the prior year period driven by increased menu prices and favorable mix shift. Chili's operating margin improved compared to the prior year primarily due to improved cost of sales. Cost of sales as a percentage of company sales was favorably impacted by increased menu pricing and favorable commodity pricing on produce and poultry, partially offset by unfavorable commodity pricing and product mix primarily related to beef and pork.

Maggiano’s second-quarter company sales of $105.8 million increased 0.6 percent, primarily driven by menu pricing and mix. Restaurant operating margin improved compared to prior year primarily due to improved cost of sales. Cost of sales was favorably impacted by decreased commodity usage from efforts to reduce waste, increased menu pricing and menu item changes. Restaurant operating margin was negatively impacted by higher workers' compensation insurance expenses, partially offset by lower repair and maintenance expense, utilities expense and sales leverage on fixed costs related to higher revenue.

Brinker International, Inc. identifies itself as one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies. It currently owns, operates, or franchises 1,593 restaurants under the names Chili's Grill & Bar (1,549 restaurants) and Maggiano's Little Italy (44 restaurants).

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