Struggling Shells Turns First Quarter Profit

Shells Seafood Restaurants turned a profit in the first quarter of 2008, even though same-restaurant sales tumbled 15.6 percent.

The Tampa, Fla.-based casual seafood chain on Friday reported earnings of $119,588 on revenue of $10.7 million, compared with earnings of $34,926 on revenue of $13.4 million for the same period last year.

Shells was able to turn a profit by reducing administrative costs by cutting salaries and bonuses. The chain also slashed restaurant operating costs as a percentage of sales by 2.2 percent largely by changing its menu items.

"The first quarter of 2008 continued to be challenging for both Shells and most casual dining restaurants within Florida, generally due to an increasingly difficult economy," says Shells CEO Marc Bernstein.

Shells operates 23 Florida restaurants, two fewer than at the end of last year's first quarter.


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