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P.F. Chang's 3Q profit rises on higher sales

Same-store sales up at both Bistro and Pei Wei

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. recorded a 68.6-percent increase in net income for the third quarter, driven by increased sales at both of its restaurant concepts and reduced expenses.

The company, which operates 200 P.F. Chang’s Bistros and 168 Pei Wei Asian Diners, posted net income of $10.5 million, or 45 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 3, compared with year-ago profit of $6.2 million, or 27 cents a share.

Latest-quarter revenue rose 6.2 percent to $308.4 million from $290.3 million a year ago.

Same-store sales in the third quarter rose 2.3 percent at the Bistro, which saw traffic increase 2.8 percent and average tickets slip 0.5 percent. At Pei Wei, same-store sales inched up 0.8 percent, reflecting a 1.5-percent dip in traffic and a 2.3-increase in the average check.

“Average ticket at the Bistro declined during the quarter, but sequentially improved primarily due to the benefit of a 1 to 2 percent menu price increase that went into effect during the second quarter of 2010,” the company said in its earnings release “Average ticket at Pei Wei was positive for the entire quarter including incremental sales of small-plate menu items and, to a lesser extent, the benefit of an approximate 1 percent menu price increase that went into effect during the second quarter of 2010.”

P.F. Chang's also reported $900,000 in revenues for the quarter from its Global Brand Development division, which includes a line of branded frozen entrees as well as six international Bistro units and two joint-venture units in Hawaii. John Glass, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, highlighted strong sales of P.F. Chang's frozen food line in a recent report.

P.F. Chang’s gave full-year 2010 guidance of about $1.95 per share, indicating operating margins might be lower than in 2009. The company earned $1.85 per share in 2009.

The company said it also plans to open three to five new Bistro restaurants and 10 to 12 Pei Weis in fiscal 2011.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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