Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel 2Q profit rises 9.3%

Operator credits commodity prices and cost-cutting for the increase

Lower commodity prices and cost-cutting helped Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. increase profit in the second quarter, the company said Monday. 

The Lebanon, Tenn.-based family-dining operator reported that net income for the second quarter ended Jan. 27 rose 9.3 percent, to $52.7 million, or $2.19 per share, compared with $48.2 million, or $2.01 per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue was $772.7 million, up 1.1 percent, from $764 million the previous year. 

Same-store restaurant sales rose 0.6 percent in the quarter, and retail sales fell 2.2 percent. Restaurant traffic grew 0.8 percent in November, but slipped 1 percent in December and fell 5.7 in January. The average menu-price increase for the quarter was about 2.1 percent.

“We delivered second-quarter operating-margin growth largely driven by continued commodity favorability and the success of our cost reduction initiatives,” said Sandra Cochran, Cracker Barrel president and CEO, in a statement. 

Cracker Barrel reaffirmed its earlier earnings guidance and expects to report earnings per share for the 2017 fiscal year between $8.10 and $8.25 per share. It anticipates revenue for the year to be about $2.95 billion. 

For the year, the company said it expects to open eight new Cracker Barrel locations and four new Holler & Dash Biscuit House restaurants.

Holler & Dash, a fast-casual concept featuring biscuit sandwiches with Southern flair, debuted last year. The brand opened its fourth unit in Brentwood, Tenn., in January.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store owns and operates 641 Cracker Barrel units and four Holler & Dash Biscuit House locations across 43 states. 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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