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New stores & improvements in unit-level economics more than double Chipotle's 4th-Q profit

DENVER Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., operator of more than 570 namesake fast-casual burritos restaurants, more than doubled fourth-quarter profit from a year earlier on revenues that jumped 26.8 percent to $219.7 million.

The company said the opening of 35 new restaurants during the quarter ended Dec. 31, a same-store sales increase of 10.1 percent and improvements in unit-level economics drove both sales and profit.

Chipotle earned $10.8 million, or 33 cents per share, in its latest quarter, compared with earnings of $4.3 million, or 16 cents per share, in the year-ago fourth quarter.

For the full year, Chipotle posted profit of $41.4 million, $1.28 per share, versus profit of $37.7 million, or $1.43 per share, a year earlier. Total revenues increased 31.1 percent to $822.9 million. For the current fiscal 2007, Chipotle said it planned to open between 95 and 105 new units, compared with the openings of 95 units in 2006.

TAGS: Finance
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