Industry News | December 20, 2000

Pancho's Mexican Buffet Reports 4Q

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Pancho's Mexican Buffet, Inc. reported results today for the year and fourth quarter ended September 30, 2000.

For the year just ended, net earnings were $249,000, or $0.17 per share, compared to $1.9 million, or $1.29 per share, for the year ended September 30, 1999. These results include benefits from reducing insurance reserves by $1,020,000 in fiscal year 2000 compared with $1,038,000 for fiscal year 1999. The year just ended includes $52,000 in gain on the sale of assets, compared to $367,000 in gain on the sale of assets for the year ended September 30, 1999.

Total sales were $56.0 million for the year ended September 30, 2000, compared to total sales of $57.4 million for 1999. Same-store sales were down 3.1% for fiscal year 2000. Average unit sales were $1,168,000 for 2000 compared with average unit sales of $1,190,000 for 1999.

For the quarter ended September 30, 2000, the company incurred a net loss of ($191,000), or ($0.13) per share, compared with net earnings of $128,000, or $0.08 per share, for the same quarter in 1999. Earnings include a $9,000 gain and an $8,000 gain on the sale of assets for the fourth quarters of 2000 and 1999, respectively.

Total sales for the recent fourth quarter were $14.1 million compared to total sales of $14.6 million reported for the same period in 1999. Same-store sales decreased 4.4% for the recent fourth quarter. Average sales per unit were $294,000 for the quarter just ended compared to $303,000 for the same period in 1999.

"The end of fiscal 2000 marks an exciting point in our transition period," said Hollis Taylor, president and chief executive officer. "While lower sales combined with increased operating expenses reduced our operating results for the fiscal year just ended, we have now completed extensive testing of several re-imaging concepts and have determined that the Pancho's Buffet & Grill(TM), an upscale prototype conversion which has been in full operation for a year in Mesquite, Texas, will be our primary model for the future. This restaurant has produced sales increases greater than 35% for the past twelve months, and generated annual sales of over $2 million, which is 71% above average unit sales for fiscal 2000.''

As a result of a careful and extensive study of the Pancho's Buffet & Grill(TM) concept and the continuing success of the Mesquite store, a company-wide, three-year re-imaging plan has been developed to roll out this new concept company wide. This three-year plan is based upon the company's ability to obtain the necessary capital resources. As previously announced, the company retained First Security Van Kasper to explore strategic financial alternatives to enhance our future growth and maximize shareholder value. "We are very optimistic about this new contemporary upscale image for Pancho's and believe the steps we have taken are critical if we are to grow and prosper in the future,'' added Taylor.

The company also announced today that the annual meeting of stockholders will be held at 10 a.m. on March 7, 2001 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Center Complex at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard in Fort Worth.

Based in Fort Worth, Pancho's Mexican Buffet, Inc. is the only publicly-held company offering all-you-can-eat Mexican food in a buffet-style format. The company operates 48 restaurants in Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.