LAKEWOOD, COLO. — Operational improvements in cost of goods and manufacturing contributed to a 20% increase in earnings at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. Net income in the third quarter ended Oct. 2 was $3,414,000, equal to 20c per share on the common stock, up from $2,835,000, or 17c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Einstein said it incurred about $300,000 in pre-tax expenses related to a strategic alternatives review process during the most recent quarter.

Total revenues increased 2% in the quarter to $105,494,000 from $103,532,000.

“We improved our net income compared to the third quarter last year by realizing operational improvements in cost of goods and manufacturing, and delivered our sixth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth despite some softness related to the July 4 holiday,” said Jeff O’Neill, president and chief executive officer. “We attribute the continuation of our positive top-line trend to favorable product mix, expanded catering, and specialty beverage sales that we supported through our ongoing marketing investments.”

Cost of goods sold in the third quarter fell 4% to $26,676,000, while manufacturing and commissary costs decreased 28% to $5,738,000, the company said.

For the nine months ended Oct. 2, net income was $9,574,000, or 57c per share, up 35% from $7,083,000, or 43c per share. Total revenues were $316,360,000, up 3% from $308,455,000.