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El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. Announces

The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

Third Quarter 2015 Financial Results

COSTA MESA, CA November 12, 2015

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) today announced financial results for the 13-week period ended September 30, 2015.

Highlights for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015, compared to the third quarter ended September 24, 2014 were as follows:

Total revenue increased to $88.9 million compared to $86.6 million.

System-wide comparable restaurant sales grew 0.6%, including flat growth for company-operated restaurants, and a 1.1% increase for franchised restaurants.

Net income was $4. 7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to net income of $25.8 million, or $0.70 per diluted share.

Pro forma net income

increased 43.7% to $7.2 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared to $5.0 million, or $0.13 per diluted share.

Adjusted EBITDA

increased 9.9% to $16.6 million.

Pro forma net income and adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP measures. A reconciliation of GAAP net income to each of these measures is included in the accompanying financial data. See also Non-GAAP Financial Measures.

Steve Sather, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., stated, Our third quarter results included our 17

consecutive quarter of system-wide comparable restaurant sales growth as well as pro forma net income growth of over 40%. We are taking actions to reengage our value conscious customers and have several current initiatives to enhance the overall experience of our customers. Through these actions, we will ensure that we deliver on the core elements of our QSR+ brand promise.

Sather continued, Our new restaurant pipeline is strong and growing stronger, and we continue to be excited about the long runway of growth that we believe is ahead

of us in both new and existing markets. Customers love our food, and we look forward to bringing our delicious Fire-Grilled Chicken and authentic Mexican inspired entrees to consumers across the country.

Company-operated restaurant revenue in the third quarter of 2015 increased 2.6% to $83.0 million, from $80.9 million in the same period last year. The growth in company-operated restaurant revenue was driven largely by 13 new units opened during and subsequent to the third quarter of 2014 offset by loss of sales from six units sold to a franchisee and one company-operated unit closed in fiscal year 2014.

Comparable company-operated restaurant sales in the third quarter were flat, driven by a 1.9% decrease in traffic, partially offset by a 1.9% increase in average check.

Franchise revenue in the third quarter of 2015 increased 3.3% to $5.9 million, from $5.7 million in the third quarter of 2014. Franchised comparable restaurant sales increased 1.1% during the quarter.

Restaurant contribution was $17.6 million, compared to $16.7 million in the third quarter of 2014. As a percent of company-operated restaurant revenue, restaurant contribution margin increased 50 basis points to 21.2%. The increase in restaurant contribution margin was primarily the result of lower occupancy and other operating expenses as well as lower food and paper costs, partially offset by increased labor and related expenses on higher workers compensation and medical insurance claims activity.

Net income for the third quarter of 2015 was $4.7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to net income of $25.8 million, or $0.70 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2014.

Pro forma net income increased 43.7% to $7.2 million, or $0.18 per diluted share during the third quarter of 2015, compared to $5.0 million, or $0.13 per diluted share during the third quarter of 2014. A reconciliation between GAAP net income and pro forma net income is included in the accompanying financial data.

2015 Outlook

Based upon current information, the Company is updating its guidance for fiscal year 2015.

The Company now expects 2015 pro forma diluted net income per share ranging from $0.67 to $0.69, from $0.67 to $0.71 previously. This compares to pro forma diluted net income per share of $0.55 in 2014. The Companys 2014 pro forma results included an estimated $0.01 per share positive impact due to a 53rd week during the fiscal year.

Pro forma net income guidance for fiscal year 2015 is based, in part, on the following updated annual assumptions:

System-wide comparable restaurant sales growth of approximately 1.7% (

previously approximately 3%

The opening of 13-15 new company-owned restaurants and 5 new franchised restaurants (

previously 16 new company-owned and 8 new franchised

Restaurant contribution margin of 21.2% to 21.5%;

G&A expenses of between 7.8% and 8.0% of total revenue;

Pro forma income tax rate of 41.0%; and

Adjusted EBITDA of between $64.0 and $66.0 million (

previously $65.0 million to $67.0 million

The following definitions apply to...


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