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Panera’s 1Q profit rises on increased sales

Panera Bread Co. reported Tuesday that its first-quarter profit rose more than 27 percent on same-store sales growth at its bakery-cafes.

The St. Louis-based company said net income for the first quarter ended March 29 totaled $32.8 million, or $1.09 per share, compared with $25.8 million, or 82 cents per share, a year ago. Latest-quarter revenue increased nearly 16 percent to $422.1 million.

Same-store sales for the first quarter rose 3.3 percent at corporate stores and increased 3.4 percent at franchised branches. Same-store sales at company locations in April to date are up 5.3 percent, Panera said.

“We believe the consistency of our results has been driven by the investments that we have made in the quality of our food, our people and the overall customer experience,” Bill Moreton, Panera’s chief executive, said in a statement.

As of March 29, Panera Bread and its additional St. Louis Bread Co. and Paradise Bakery & Café brands had 665 corporate stores and 802 franchised locations.

In its outlook, Panera said it planned 27 to 29 new units in the second quarter with weekly net sales targets of $37,000 to $39,000. The company said it expects a total of 95 to 105 new stores to open in fiscal 2011.

Average weekly net sales for corporate units slipped in the first quarter, to $49,551 from $56,113 in the same period last year, Panera said. However, average weekly net sales for franchised units in the quarter rose to $45,532 from $44,220 in the same period a year ago.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].


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