Einstein income up sharply in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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LAKEWOOD, COLO. — Net income at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. rose 88% in the first quarter ended March 29 to $1,168,000, equal to 7c per share on the common stock. This compared with income of $620,000, or 3c per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Revenues in the first quarter increased narrowly, to $101,245,000 from $100,812,000.

“Weather-related softness impacted comparable store sales trends and combined with rising commodity costs dampened restaurant level margins in the quarter,” said Jeff O’Neill, chief executive officer and president. “However, cost of goods sold and labor initiatives helped limit the full impact on our results. Looking forward, I am confident that our balance of strong limited time offers and innovation coupled with our disciplined cost programs provide a well-balanced approach to offset rising commodity concerns and to build on our long-term growth opportunities.”

Einstein Noah stepped up its marketing spending in the first quarter, allotting $3.3 million to build traffic and drive awareness of its brands. This compared with $2.8 million spent during the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Capital expenditure spending is expected to be between $28 million and $30 million in fiscal 2011, including the opening of 10 to 14 company-owned restaurants, the relocation of an additional 10 to 14 company-owned restaurants, and the continued roll-out of Einstein’s new coffee program.

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