Industry News | January 17, 2008

Così, Inc. Reports Sales Growth for the 2007 Fourth Quarter and Full Year

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Così, Inc. (NasdaqGM:COSI - News) today reported total revenues for the 2007 fourth quarter grew 5.2% to $33,432,200 from $31,782,800 in the 2006 quarter. Company-owned net restaurant revenues grew 4.4% in the quarter to $32,825,700, compared to $31,445,900 in the previous year's quarter. Franchise fees and royalty revenues contributed $606,500 compared to $336,900 in the 2006 quarter. System-wide comparable restaurant sales for the 2007 fourth quarter as measured for restaurants in operation for more than 15 months recorded an aggregate 2.1% increase over the 2006 fourth quarter.

Revenues for the 2007 full year grew 8.5% to $137,672,200 from $126,888,300 in 2006. Company-owned net restaurant revenues grew 7.6% in 2007 to $135,617,400, compared to $126,038,300 in the previous year. Franchise fees and royalty revenues contributed $2,054,900 compared to $850,000 in 2006. For the 2007 full year, system-wide comparable restaurant sales recorded an aggregate 1.4% increase over the previous year.

"The increase in total revenues and continued improvement in system-wide comparable sales further validates the collaborative work that has been underway with our franchise partners to drive revenue growth, execute more effectively across our system and continue improving the guests' experience," said James Hyatt, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We remain focused on the key drivers of Così's long-term success: driving sales and operating margin improvements, franchise recruitment and development and Company-owned restaurant development."

Company-owned comparable sales are based on sales from restaurants that have been open more than 15 months. Franchise-operated comparable sales are based on sales, as reported by franchisees, from restaurants that have been open more than 15 months.

Franchise-operated and system-wide comparable restaurant sales percentages are non-GAAP measures, which should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP and may not be comparable to system-wide sales as defined or used by other companies. Così does not record franchise-operated sales as revenues. However, Così's royalty revenues are calculated based on a percentage of franchise-operated restaurant sales. Management believes franchise-operated and system-wide comparable sales information is useful in assessing consumer acceptance of the Company's brand, facilitates an understanding of financial performance and overall sales trends, helps the Company understand the effectiveness of marketing initiatives to which our franchisees contribute based on a percentage of their sales, and provides information that is relevant for comparison within the industry.

As of December 31, 2007, there were 107 Company-owned restaurants and 34 franchise-operated restaurants. During the fourth quarter, Così opened one Company-owned location in Stamford, Connecticut and closed one underperforming Company-owned location in Baltimore, Maryland. Così franchisees opened seven locations during the fourth quarter including our second international location in Dubai. Two additional franchise locations opened after the end of our fiscal year.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.