Ruth's Hospitality posts higher 2Q profit

Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. reported a 60-percent jump in second-quarter profit on positive same-store sales at its upscale brands.

The Heathrow, Fla.-based parent company of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House, reported net income of $3.7 million, or 9 cents per share for the June 27-ended quarter, compared with earnings of $2.3 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the latest quarter grew about 3 percent to $89.0 million, compared with $86.4 million a year ago.

Same-store sales increased 2.9 percent at corporate Ruth's Chris locations and edged up 0.9 percent at Mitchell's Fish Market, the company said. Same-store sales at franchised restaurants rose 6.1 percent.

“We generated substantial improvement in net income compared to the year-ago period as positive comparable restaurant sales translated into solid operating leverage,” said Michael P. O’Donnell, Ruth's Hospitality's president and chief executive. “We credit four-wall execution and solid expense management that, over time, should position our brands for further bottom-line improvement.”

During the quarter, the company opened a Mitchell’s Fish Market, and a franchisee opened a Ruth’s Chris.

Looking forward, O’Donnell said the company would pursue modest growth “through opportunistic development” and currently is “evaluating restaurant locations on our own and through strategic alliances.”

Ruth's Hospitality also owns the Columbus Fish Market, Mitchell’s Steakhouse and Cameron’s Steakhouse concepts. The company operates or franchises more than 150 restaurants under all of its brands.

Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected]