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Earnings Triple at Parent of Sizzler, KFC

November 24, 2004|Julie Tamaki | Times Staff Writer

Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc. reported on Tuesday that profit tripled in the fiscal second quarter as it regained its footing after an E. coli outbreak last year at its Pat & Oscar's chain.

The Sherman Oaks-based company earned $900,000, or 3 cents a share, in the period ended Oct. 17, up from $300,000, or break-even, a year earlier. Revenue rose 4% to $79.4 million.

Worldwide operates or franchises 23 Pat & Oscar's outlets, 306 Sizzler restaurants in the United States and Australia and 112 franchised KFC units, primarily in Australia. The company said it expected two franchised Sizzlers to open in Beijing in the next six months.

Same-store sales increased 6.6% at KFC and 10.1% at Sizzler Australia but declined 1.3% at Pat & Oscar's and 1.4% at company-owned U.S. Sizzler outlets, the company said.

The sales drop at U.S. Sizzler restaurants open at least a year came despite a price increase taken at the end of the first quarter. A promotion for a $9.99 half-slab of ribs failed to drive sales as hoped, Charles Boppell, Worldwide's chief executive, said in a conference call with analysts.

Shares of Worldwide rose 14 cents to $3.34 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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