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Morton’s 2Q same-store sales rise 8.2%

Morton’s 2Q same-store sales rise 8.2%

Upper-tier economic recovery and marketing strategy pushed sales

As recovery in the upper tier of the economy continues to increase business travel and convention traffic, fine-dining chain Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc. has maintained its sales growth, logging its sixth consecutive quarter of same-store sales increases in the second quarter of 2011.

In the second quarter ended July 3, Chicago-based Morton’s tallied net income of $654,000, or 4 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $516,000, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenues increased 10.7 percent to $78 million, compared with $70.5 million in the second quarter of 2010. Same-store sales rose 8.2 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

“We are pleased to report a strong second quarter, with comparable restaurant revenue up by 8.2 percent, reflecting our sixth consecutive quarter with positive comparable revenues,” said Christopher J. Artinian, president and chief executive of Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc.

“We also experienced an increase in overall traffic during the quarter, and our higher sales volumes were accompanied by expanded operating margins. In addition, business travel continues to trend positively, as evidenced by our increased traffic in convention markets. We remain well positioned to continue to grow our world-recognized brand both domestically and internationally, especially in Asia.”

Though the uptick in business travel has driven positive guest counts at Morton’s, the chain also has put in place several marketing initiatives to spur incremental traffic, including a sponsorship of the PGA Tour. Its newest addition to the bar menu, Spa-Tinis, are a line of low-calorie cocktails aimed at promoting happy-hour business.

Morton’s updated its projections for fiscal year 2011 to include full-year revenues between $320 million and $323 million, with same-store sales increases between 6 percent and 8 percent. Morton’s only new steakhouse for 2011 opened in the first quarter in Dallas, and a total of four restaurants are to be remodeled this year to include the Bar 12-21 area.

Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc. owns and operates 77 Morton’s the Steakhouse restaurants in 64 cities across 26 states, Puerto Rico and six international markets.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

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