Darden ‘pleased’ with 2Q results


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 17, 2009

Darden Restaurants on Thursday posted its results for the second quarter ending 29 November, including a 1.6 percent drop in sales, to USD 1.64 billion (EUR 1.14 billion).

The casual-dining giant reported net earnings of USD 61.2 million (EUR 42.7 million), compared to USD 58.5 million (EUR 40.8 million) in the same period last year.

Darden Chairman and CEO Clarence Otis expressed optimism with the Orlando, Fla., company’s second-quarter results, especially given the challenging economic climate.

“Our performance was competitively strong once again this quarter in what continued to be a very tough business environment,” said Otis. “We’re pleased that our same-restaurant sales results remain stronger than the average for our industry as measured by the Knapp-Track™ benchmark, and that we’re achieving these results without heavy discounting. Importantly, we’re translating our competitively strong sales into solid earnings results.”

However, Darden’s seafood concept put up weaker U.S. same-restaurant sales in the second quarter than its steakhouse and Italian concepts. Red Lobster’s U.S. same-restaurant sales tumbled 8.4 percent, while LongHorn Steakhouse’s fell 6.2 percent and Olive Garden’s dipped only 1.4 percent.

Red Lobster also recorded a 6.5 percent drop in sales, to USD 562 million (EUR 391.9 million).

At the end of the second quarter, Red Lobster operated 691 restaurants (663 in the United States and 28 in Canada), up from 684 a year ago.

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