MINNEAPOLIS Buca Inc. reported on Tuesday a wider second-quarter net loss of $3.2 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $718,000, or 3 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter, on higher labor costs and restaurant closure charges.
Buca’s stock on Wednesday fell more than 21 percent, or 74 cents, to close at $2.72. Stocks continued to fall Thursday, dipping almost 15 percent to close at $2.32.
Total restaurant sales in the second quarter increased 1.8 percent to $62.1 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier, reported the company, which owns and operates 91 Buca di Beppo family-style Italian restaurants. Same-store sales increased 3.7 percent.
Buca recorded an impairment expense of $700,000 in the second quarter, related to the expected sale of one restaurant property owned by the company, it reported. Buca has been closing underperforming units for almost two years and closed two restaurants in the first half of this year.
Buca reported that an increase of 4.3 percent in total restaurant costs, including labor, occupancy and maintenance, was to blame for the bulk of the losses in the second quarter.
“We are managing through a difficult cost environment for us created by minimum wage increases, elevated repairs and maintenance expenses, as well as costs associated with exiting the bottom performers of our system,” said Wallace Doolin, chairman and chief executive.
He pledged a return to growth with plans for new restaurants in 2008 and continued improvements to the core business.