Brinker's 2007 2nd-Q net income increases 3.1%

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DALLAS Brinker International Inc., operator or franchisor of 1,712 restaurants including the 1,275-unit Chili’s Grill & Bar chain, reported a 3.1-percent increase in fiscal 2007 second-quarter net income, versus the same quarter in fiscal 2006, on revenues that rose 6.1 percent to $1.07 billion. For the 13 weeks ended Dec. 27, Brinker earned $44.2 million, or 35 cents per share, versus profit of $42.9 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, which included a $6.7-million asset impairment charge for the evaluation of underperforming locations, per-share profit would have totaled 40 cents in the company’s latest second quarter, up from 31 cents in the prior year. Same-store sales continued to dip company-wide, as all chains reported negative results for the second quarter, marking the third consecutive quarterly period of negative same-store sales at the flagship Chili’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grill concepts. Same-store sales fell 1.2 percent at Chili’s, 4.9 percent at Macaroni Grill, 3.6 percent at On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and 1.3 percent at Maggiano’s Little Italy.