Chipotle: Focus On Ingredients Boosted 1Q Sales

Chipotle Mexican Grill reported a 35-percent increase in profit and double-digit same-store sales for the first quarter, noting that its focus on ingredients "raised with respect for animals, the environment and farmers" is resonating with consumers.

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The Denver-based company said net income for the quarter ended March 31 was $62.7 million, or $1.97 per share, compared with $46.4 million, or $1.46 per share, for the year-earlier quarter.

Same-store sales increased 12.7 percent for the quarter, primarily as a result of increased traffic, though the company said price increases implemented last year also helped.

Revenue grew by 25.8 percent to $640.6 million.

"We're delighted that our continuing efforts to serve the very best food made from high-quality ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers are resonating with our customers, allowing us to deliver double-digit comps and record earnings during the quarter," said Steve Ells, Chipotle's founder, chairman and co-chief executive.

During the quarter, Chipotle opened 32 restaurants, including one in Toronto, Canada. The company ended the quarter with a total of 1,262 locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

In its outlook for the year, Chipotle said it expects to open between 155 and 165 new locations. The chain is also expecting that same-store sales to grow in the mid-single-digit range.

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