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Overseas Sales Help Parent of Sizzler

November 16, 2002|Karen Robinson-Jacobs | Times Staff Writer

Increased sales Down Under helped the parent of the Sizzler steak restaurant chain post a fourfold increase in earnings for its second quarter ended Oct. 13, the parent firm said Friday.

Sherman Oaks-based Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. said net income for the quarter was $1.4 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with last year's $355,000, or 1 cent per share.

Revenue was $64.4 million, a gain of 7.5% over the $59.9 million posted in the same period last year.

Despite the upbeat news, Worldwide shares lost 27 cents Friday to close at $2.22 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company -- which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1997 -- owns, operates or franchises 322 Sizzler restaurants in the U.S. and abroad.

It also operates 109 KFC restaurants, primarily in Australia, and is planning to expand its Pat & Oscar's quick-casual restaurant chain, which has 15 outlets, mostly in Southern California.

Chief Executive Charles Boppell said that though domestic same-store sales were down -- 4% for Pat & Oscar's and 1% for Sizzler -- sales were up in Australia. Sizzler Australia saw a 9.4% hike in same-store sales and KFC reported a 5.9% gain over the year-ago period.

"The economy has slowed our domestic sales growth," Boppell said. "Our guests are managing their checks down in this difficult environment."

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