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Buffalo Wild Wings posts 29% jump in 4Q profit

MINNEAPOLIS Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. is flying high despite the many headwinds hurting restaurant operations throughout the industry.

The company, which is operator or franchisor of 567 casual-dining restaurants, reported Wednesday an earnings increase of 29 percent, a revenue increase of 33 percent and a corporate same-store sales jump of 4.5 percent for the fourth quarter. The numbers contrast sharply with competitors in the casual-dining sector, which has been hit hard by reduced guest traffic as consumers cut spending and forgo eating out.

Buffalo Wild Wings also said 2009 already has gotten off to a good start, with same-store sales at corporate restaurants up 8 percent so far this first quarter. The company reiterated its annual goals of 15-percent unit growth, 25-percent revenue growth and between 20-percent and 25-percent earnings growth.

“Our brand offers a unique and appealing experience that is more than just going out to eat,” said Sally Smith, the company’s president and chief executive. “Buffalo Wild Wings is a haven where people go to relax and connect with friends and family.”

For the quarter ended Dec. 28, Buffalo Wild Wings earned $7.7 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with $6.0 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenues in the latest quarter totaled $121.2 million.

For the full year, the company earned $24.4 million, or $1.36 per share, versus $19.6 million, or $1.10 per share. Fiscal 2008 revenues rose 28 percent to $422.4 million.

Contact Sarah E. Lockyer at [email protected].

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