The Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Tuesday reported a more than 36-percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter on improving guest traffic.
For the quarter ended Jan. 3, the Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based casual-dining operator reported net income of $29.9 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $21.9 million or 36 cents per share, a year ago.
Same-store sales for the quarter rose 2.7 percent for the company’s two brands, while revenue totaled $477.7 million, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago.
The recent quarter included an additional week and $1.5 million in impairment charges. In addition, the company saw a pre-tax benefit of $700,000 and a reduction to its income tax provision of $1.1 million as the result of a partial settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
By brand, same-store sales were up 2.7 percent at the 156-unit Cheesecake Factory and 1.9 percent for the 13-unit Grand Lux Café. The company also operates one location of RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen.
David Overton, the company’s chief executive, said the focus will remain on building market share by improving the customer experience.
“We delivered our best comparable sales and highest guest traffic levels of the year, driving 36-percent earnings per share growth. The Cheesecake Factory offers the strongest, most consistent guest experience in the industry, and our numbers confirm it,” he said in a statement.
“We have always been an operating company, and, over the past few years, our level of excellence in food, service and overall execution has become even better, further separating our concept from others in the industry,” he continued. “This places us in an extremely strong competitive position.”
The Cheesecake Factory also is moving outside the United States for the first time with three licensed locations expected to open in the Middle East. The company projects opening seven or eight new restaurants in 2012.
For the year, The Cheesecake Factory reported net income of $95.7 million, or $1.64 per share, compared with $81.7 million, or $1.35 per share.
Revenue for the year was $1.8 billion, compared with $1.7 billion a year ago.