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Cosi same-store sales increase in 3Q

Così Inc. continued to show turnaround momentum in its same-store sales, as its push to develop products for multiple dayparts and to market them more effectively gained more traction.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based operator or franchisor of 143 restaurants reported a third-quarter systemwide same-store sales increase of 5.2 percent, reflecting gains of 6.6 percent at corporate locations and 2.9 percent at franchised units.

Its stock rose more than 12 percent Friday on the news to close at $1.03.

Total systemwide revenue for the Sept. 27-ended quarter totaled $27.1 million, down 9.7 percent $30 million in the third quarter of 2009. The difference stemmed mainly from the sale of 13 corporate Così locations to a franchisee in the second quarter of 2010, the company said. Total corporate sales fell to $26.3 million in the period, compared with $29.5 million a year earlier. Franchise revenues rose to $775,000, compared with $505,000 a year earlier.

“We are pleased with the continued positive trend in systemwide comparable sales we experienced in the third quarter, especially given the continued challenging consumer spending environment,” said James Hyatt, president and chief executive of Così. “September marked our seventh consecutive month of systemwide positive comparable-sales growth. We believe we continue to benefit from our expanded marketing efforts to broaden our consumer reach and drive traffic in multiple dayparts.”

The company pointed out in a statement that the increase in corporate-unit sales was derived from gains of 3.7 percent in traffic and 2.9 percent in the average check.

The brand expects to report full third-quarter earnings results Nov. 11. Così has 84 corporate and 59 franchised restaurants in 18 states, the District of Columbia and the United Arab Emirates.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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