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Sonic annual same-store sales turn positive

Sonic Corp. said Monday its annual same-store sales swung to a positive result, as company-owned drive-ins posted a 1.8-percent increase in fiscal 2011, and the systemwide result rose 0.5 percent, compared with negative results a year earlier.

Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Sonic, which will release its full-year earnings on Oct. 18, said its fourth-quarter same-store sales increased 0.4 percent for company drive-ins and declined about 0.5 percent for the system. The company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 ended Aug. 31.

“While the slight decrease in systemwide sales for the quarter was below the company’s original outlook of positive low-single digits,” the company said in a statement, “same-store sales have been positive since mid-August, reflecting adjustments in the company’s promotional strategy.”

Clifford Hudson, Sonic’s chairman and chief executive, added that “we remain confident in the strategic direction of our business and believe that the new product and service initiatives that we have implemented over the last two years have helped to promote and strengthen the quality and distinctive nature of the Sonic experience, as demonstrated in the overall improvement in sales performance during fiscal 2011.”

In guidance, Sonic said it planned to open 30 to 40 new franchise drive-ins in 2012 and it expected restaurant margins to be flat. Sonic has more than 3,500 drive-restaurants nationwide.

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Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
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