Sonic 2Q profit falls, sales rise

Sonic Corp.’s second-quarter profit declined compared with the same period last year due to special gains on debt in 2011, but same-store sales at the company’s 3,550 drive-ins increased, the company reported Wednesday.

The quick-service chain booked a profit of $1.7 million, or three cents a share, in the second quarter ended Feb. 29, compared with $4.3 million, or seven cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Excluding a $3.3 million after-tax gain from the early extinguishment of debt in the quarter ended Feb. 28, 2011, net income per share was two cents for the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

Second quarter revenue rose 1.4 percent to $115.1 million, from $113.5 million the previous year.

Systemwide same-store sales increased 3.5 percent during the second quarter, with increases of 3.6 percent at franchise drive-ins and 3.1 percent at company-owned drive-ins, Sonic said.

“We are pleased with our second quarter results, and believe they reflect our ongoing focus on improving our products and service,” said Sonic chairman and chief executive Cliff Hudson in a statement.

The company will continue to focus on “innovative and distinctive products to drive sales across multiple dayparts,” Hudson said, which would be boosted by the company’s new creative strategy that includes the return of the “Two Guys” advertising campaign.

Watch one of Sonic’s latest commercials; story continues below

“Despite commodity cost pressure, we were able to improve drive-in level margins reflecting leverage from improved sales,” he added.

Sonic, which is based in Oklahoma City, Okla., opened 10 franchise locations during the second quarter, compared with five franchise openings in the previous year. In guidance, the company said it planned to add 30 to 40 new drive-ins in fiscal 2012.

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