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Chipotle profit rises 25% in 3Q

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. posted a 25-percent increase in third-quarter profit on Thursday, despite rising commodity costs, and beating analysts’ expectations.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Denver-based fast-casual chain reported net income of $60.4 million, or $1.90 per share, compared with $48.2 million, or $1.52 per share, for the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue was up 24 percent to $591.9 million on a same-store sales increase of 11.3 percent, driven by traffic and menu price increases taken over the summer.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of $1.85 on revenue of $584.7 million.

“Chipotle’s strong performance in the quarter and throughout the year is the result of our strong food culture, where we are constantly striving for more sustainable sources for all of our ingredients; and our special people culture, where top performers throughout the company are creating an extraordinary dining experience for each customer,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle’s founder, chair and co-chief executive.

During the quarter, the company opened 32 new restaurants, bringing the total unit count to 1,163.

It also opened the first location of its new ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen concept, which debuted in Washington, D.C., in September.

In its outlook for the current year, Chipotle said it expects to open between 135 and 145 restaurants, and projects same-store sales will be in the “low double-digit” range.

In 2012, Chipotle anticipates opening 155 to 165 new restaurants, with same-store sales likely increasing by low single digits.

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

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