Rare’s ’01 earnings climb 12%; special charges cut into 4th Q

Rare’s ’01 earnings climb 12%; special charges cut into 4th Q – Finance

ATLANTA — Rare Hospitality International Inc. completed its fiscal year ended Dec. 30, 2001, with profits up 12 percent from a year earlier despite a sharp 15-percent drop in fourth quarter earnings.

Rare, whose brands are composed of the LongHorn Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and The Capital Grille chains, posted fiscal 2001 profits of $26.16 million, up from earnings of $23.26 million in 2000. Revenue for the year grew 15 percent, to $533.21 million, from $464.03 million.

Fourth-quarter profits, hit by a $1.7 million aftertax charge related to asset write-downs, fell 15 percent, to $5.55 million, from $6.55 million in the year-ago quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue grew 15 percent, to $138.27 million, from $120.46 million.

Same-store sales at LongHorn grew 1.8 percent in fiscal 2001 but declined 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter comps rose 1.6 percent at The Capital Grille and 3.7 percent at Bugaboo Creek.

On a fully diluted basis, fiscal 2001 earnings per share were $1.18, compared with $1.20 in fiscal 2000. Fourth-quarter BPS was 25 cents, vs. 33 cents in the year-ago quarter.

“We believe that by continuing to add value through high-quality service and outstanding food, we will emerge from this current environment positioned to again extend our record of consistent, profitable growth,” said Rare chairman and chief executive Philip Hickey.

Rare projected 2002 comp sales ranging from a 1-percent decrease to a 1-percent rise at LongHorn and Bugaboo and a 2-percent decline to flat at The Capital Grille.

The company currently is expecting 2002 EPS of between $1.38 and $1.43.

Rare in 2002 plans to open 17 to 20 LongHorn Steakhouses, one Capital Grille and two to three Bugaboo Creek Steak Houses. Rare owns, operates and franchises 196 restaurants, including 160 LongHorns, 19 Bugaboo Creek units and 15 Capital Grilles.

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COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group