CKE Restaurants maintains profit levels despite economic downturn
At the end of last month, CKE Restaurants, Inc. announced its first quarter results revealing that it has managed to maintain its profit levels despite the difficult economic climate.
Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive officer, commented, “I am pleased with our achievements given the daunting hurdles this management team faced in delivering our first quarter results. We held company-operated restaurant-level margin flat to the prior year and increased operating income despite a 1.8% decrease in company-operated same-store sales during the quarter. We delivered these results in the face of a challenging economy and a difficult competitive environment. Not only did we hold restaurant-level margin steady from the year ago period, but at 19.9%, our margin remains among the highest in the industry, validating the strategic importance of our focus on profitability as well as sales rather than simply 'sales at any cost'.”
Commenting on future plans, he added “We are managing our company for long-term health, which requires that we focus on consumer perceptions, brand image and profitability as well as sales. As such, we intend to launch initiatives that increase the awareness of the value of our premium products relative to casual dining as well as our existing value items that we have previously only promoted in the restaurants. In addition, we are testing Hardee's successful breakfast menu at Carl's Jr. and will begin testing some affordable menu options we can offer on our own terms such as a snack menu and a reduced combo up-charge when ordering value items. We are also focusing our efforts on diversifying our growth outside of California.”
According to the information given, the company and its franchisees opened 29 new restaurants during the quarter, including 12 internationally. CKE Restaurants, Inc., currently has over 3,130 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries. (kbp)