SAN DIEGO — Jack in the Box Inc., a restaurant chain with more than 2,200 restaurants in 18 states, said it plans to close 40 of its company-operated restaurants prior to the end of its current fiscal year, which ends on Oct. 3. The restaurants are located across 7 states, primarily in the Southeast and Texas.

“These restaurant closures are expected to have a positive impact on our future earnings, cash flow and return on invested capital,” said Linda A. Lang, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Jack in the Box. “The decision to close underperforming restaurants reflects the company’s commitment to disciplined capital allocation and to ensuring we are maximizing both our physical assets and people resources.”

Jack in the Box expects pre-tax charges for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 to include approximately $8.5 million to $9.5 million in non-cash impairment charges and approximately $21 million to $25 million in lease-related costs.