California Pizza net falls 31% in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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LOS ANGELES — Net income at California Pizza Kitchen fell 31% to $4,192,000, equal to 17c per share on the common stock, in the second quarter ended July 4, down from earnings of $6,098,000, or 25c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales in the second quarter fell 5% to $163,050,000.

For the first six months of fiscal 2010, earnings totaled $6,691,000, or 28c per share, down 22% from $8,690,000, or 36c per share, in the same period of fiscal 2009. Net sales were $319,745,000, down 4% from $331,999,000.

“Earnings were at the high end of our recent guidance, but reflect the impact of not conducting the Thank You Card Program during the second quarter, as we did in 2009,” said Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, co-chief executive officers. “With that challenging comparison behind us, we are encouraged that third-quarter comparable restaurant sales to date are negative 0.9% and we are excited that our 2010 Thank You Card Program is now under way and runs through Oct. 8.”

Mr. Rosenfield and Mr. Flax said new menu items introduced in June continued to perform well during the quarter.

“Product innovation remains a hallmark of our brand and we will continue to create unique, craveable menu items to drive traffic,” they said. “We also look forward to the August launch of two new licensed products outside the frozen category in line with our strategy of leveraging the brand in this higher margin channel.”

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