Logan's Roadhouse 1Q Same-Store Sales Decline

LRI Holdings Inc. reported higher net sales and a smaller net loss on Monday for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, but said decreasing traffic at its Logan's Roadhouse casual-dining chain produced negative same-store sales.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company said it lost $3.3 million for the quarter ended Oct. 30, compared with a loss of $6.3 million in the same quarter a year ago.

First-quarter same-store sales at company restaurants decreased 1.7 percent, compared with a gain of 2.6-percent a year earlier, as eroding guest counts more than offset a 3.8-percent uptick in average check, LRI Holdings officials said.

LRI officials said quarterly net sales rose 6 percent, to $143.8 million, due to additional restaurants compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2011, including seven that opened during the latest quarter.

The company noted year-over-year increases in latest-quarter expenses, such as cost of goods sold and labor, but said those rising costs were partially offset by a favorable effective tax rate and the absence of $20.5 million in transaction-related charges booked in the year-ago quarter, when LRI Holdings was acquired by affiliates of Kelso & Co. and company management for an undisclosed amount.

LRI Holdings previously was owned since 2006 by a group of investors, including New York-based Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., Los Angeles-based Black Canyon Capital and members of the brand's management team.

Earlier this year, LRI Holdings said it would strive to rebuild then-flat same-store sales by boosting value-oriented advertising, among other tactics.

Logan's Roadhouse, which ended the quarter operating 208 restaurants and franchising 26 units, plans to open 13 additional restaurants in fiscal 2012, according to Thomas Vogel, chairman, chief executive and president of Logan's Roadhouse Inc., who reported that such new locations "continue to generate solid returns."

"While we will remain prudent in our use of capital, we are pleased with the real estate opportunities we are seeing, and as a result, we expect to open 20 company restaurants in fiscal 2012," Vogel said in a statement.

Vogel attributed the decline in his chain's guest counts to "the economic uncertainty facing our core customer base," and added that "higher commodity costs pressured restaurant-level profitability during the quarter."

"Despite these near-term challenges," he said, "we remain focused on reinforcing our value proposition and executing our brand strategies to deliver consistent EBITDA growth over time."

LRI Holdings said first-quarter adjusted EBITDA was $13.3 million, down 13.5 percent on a year-over-year basis from the fiscal 2011 quarter a year ago.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at alan.liddle@penton.com.
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