CPK's profit dips 21.9%

LOS ANGELES California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported a 21.9-percent, year-over-year drop in first-quarter profit, on increased labor and other costs that offset a revenue gain of 15.2 percent, to $149.4 million.

The parent company to the 212-unit namesake chain continued to post positive same-store sales, however, up 4.7 percent for the quarter, making it one of the exceptions to the casual-dining sector's sales slowdown.

The company said in a statement its positive sales momentum is driven by its "creative offerings across the entire menu...service and the lifestyle component of the CPK brand."

The company earned $3.6 million, or 18 cents per share, for the quarter ended April 1, compared with year-ago earnings of $4.6 million, or 23 cents per share. The latest-quarter results included additional compensation expense of 2 cents per share related to accelerated restricted stock vesting, the company reported. Also in the latest quarter, labor expenses increased 18 percent from a year ago to $56.2 million, and the costs of food, beverage and paper supplies rose 13.1 percent to $36.4 million.