Caribou CFO resigns

MINNEAPOLIS Caribou Coffee Co. on Friday named former Buca finance chief Kaye O’Leary interim CFO after the resignation of George Mileusnic, who is the second high-level executive in two months to step down from the coffeehouse chain.

Caribou said in a release that Mileusnic resigned “to pursue other interests.” In November, Michael Coles stepped down from his posts as chairman and chief executive at Caribou, though he remains on the board. President and chief operating officer Rosalyn Mallet was named interim CEO.

O’Leary previously served as CFO of parent of the Buca di Beppo casual chain, where she led that beleagured company’s recent financial overhaul.

Also on Friday, Caribou released preliminary sales figures for the 13-week fourth quarter and full year, both ended Dec. 30. Excluding the chain’s 52 franchised stores, same-store sales were flat for the quarter and the year, Caribou said.

“We are pleased with our comp performance during the fourth quarter, particularly in light of weak consumer spending patterns which had a negative impact on the industry,” Mallet said.

Total net sales for the fourth quarter were about $70.1 million, up 5 percent over the same period a year ago, Caribou reported. For the full year, revenue was up 9 percent over last year.

Caribou also reported that preliminary “other sales,” which includes wholesale sales to commercial customers, product sales to franchisees, and mail order and Internet sales, were $5.5 million for the fourth quarter, up 84 percent over the same period a year ago. Full-year other sales were up 57 percent over last year, the company said.

Caribou, which operates 432 coffeehouses and franchises 52 others, said it expects to release full results on Feb. 14.

In trading on Friday, Caribou’s stock fell more than 6 percent to close at $3.14, a 52-week low.