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BJ's 4Q profit up 42%

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. reported a 42-percent increase in profits for its fourth quarter, the company said Thursday.

For the quarter ended Jan. 3, the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based casual-dining operator said net income was $9.9 million, or 34 cents per share, compared with $6.9 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. The most recent quarter included 14 weeks, compared with 13 weeks the prior year.

Same-store sales climbed 5.1 percent on a comparable 13-week basis.

Revenue for the 14-week quarter was up 29 percent to $171.8 million, compared with $132.9 million a year ago.

For the year, BJ’s reported net income of $31.6 million, or $1.08 per share, up 36 percent over the prior year’s income of $23.2 million, or 82 cents per share.

Year-end revenue totaled $620.9 million, up 21 percent, with same-store sales up by 6.6 percent.

BJ’s chair and chief executive Jerry Deitchle said the same-store sales increase for the year successfully hurdled a strong 5.6 percent increase in fiscal 2010.

“Our restaurant operators continue to do an excellent job of simultaneously building sales, improving the overall quality of the BJ’s dining experience for our guests and preserving our high-quality four-wall restaurant operating margins,” he said in a statement.

The chain opened four new restaurants during the quarter for a total of 13 new units during the year.

Deitchle noted that the expansion created almost 2,000 new jobs last year, “and we expect to create at least that many during 2012,” he said.

BJ’s is planning to open 16 locations in 2012, including relocating an existing small-format BJ’s Pizza & Grill to a larger format restaurant.

At the end of the year, BJ’s had 115 restaurants in 13 states under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, BJ’s Pizza & Grill and BJ’s Grill brand names.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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