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Koo Koo Roo Posts 26th Straight Quarterly Loss


Financially troubled Koo Koo Roo Inc., which operates a chain of flame-broiled chicken restaurants, on Thursday posted a first-quarter net loss of $15.2 million--logging its 26th straight quarter without a profit.

Although Koo Koo Roo posted first-quarter sales of $22.3 million, nearly doubling results from the year before, operating expenses outpaced sales by roughly $1.9 million.

The total loss--40 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $2.5 million, or 26 cents a share a year ago--included $11.8 million in restructuring charges that officials had announced March 31 as part of efforts to cut overhead and refocus the company on its core "home-meal replacement" niche, which looks to provide home-cooked, quality meals at fast-food turnaround times.

Much of the restructuring charges, Koo Koo Roo reported, were attributed to closing three unprofitable Washington, D.C., stores.

"We are continuing to execute our business strategy of focusing on the Koo Koo Roo concept in our core markets," Chief Executive William Allen said in a statement. "In addition, the effects of our reductions in corporate overhead during the first quarter of 1998 will be fully realized in the second quarter of 1998. These measures should result in improved bottom-line performance."

The Los Angeles-based company has also been looking to unload two non-core businesses. Now on the sales block are the Color Me Mine chain of do-it-yourself ceramics shops and Arrosto Coffee.

As part of its new strategy, Koo Koo Roo also last month named Lee Iacocca, who resurrected a foundering Chrysler Corp. in the 1980s, as successor to Chairman Kenneth Berg.

Koo Koo Roo shares fell 6 cents to $2.44 on Nasdaq.

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