Industry News | January 7, 2009

Positive Sales at CKE

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CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) announced today period 12 same-store sales for the four weeks ended Dec. 29, 2008, for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Andrew F. Puzder, president and chief executive officer, said, “Blended same-store sales increased 0.4 percent for period 12 of fiscal 2009. We believe the reduced level of consumer traffic at retail outlets during the holiday shopping season and the continued discounting by many of our competitors as a result of the ongoing weakness in the overall economy negatively impacted both brands’ sales results.

"In addition, sales at Carl’s Jr. were adversely impacted by cooler, wetter weather in our core Southern California markets, and a rainy day in Southern California has the same impact as a snowstorm in Hardee’s Midwestern markets. On a two-year cumulative basis, blended same-store sales have increased 1.6 percent. For the fiscal year to date, blended same-store sales have increased 1.8 percent. As of the end of period 12, our blended average unit volume for our company-operated stores was $1,228,000, a $66,000 increase from the end of fiscal 2008.”

“Carl’s Jr. reported a same-store sales decrease of 1.6 percent for period 12, versus a 2.7 percent increase in the prior year period. Carl’s Jr. introduced the Charbroiled Steak Sandwich on December 3, although several rainy days in the period blunted initial consumer trial of the product. The sandwich features a charbroiled, 100 percent sirloin steak, topped with breaded onion rings, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise all on a toasted steak roll. Media support for the sandwich began on December 8,” Puzder continued. “Carl’s Jr. also promoted the Big Country Breakfast Burrito during the breakfast daypart, the latest addition to the ‘Breakfast as Big as our Burgers’ campaign,” said Puzder. “As of the end of period 12, the trailing 13-period average unit volume at Carl’s Jr. was $1,528,000, a $35,000 per unit increase since the end of fiscal 2008.”

“Hardee’s same-store sales increased 3.2 percent versus negative same-store sales of 0.6 percent last year for a two year cumulative increase of 2.6 percent. During the period, Hardee’s continued to promote its 100% Black Angus beef Little Thickburgers, which are quarter-pound sized versions of both our standard one-third pound Thickburger® and our Cheese Thickburger. With a suggested retail price starting at $1.99 for the Little Cheese Thickburger, the burger’s smaller size appeals to those consumers who are looking for a less-filling and lower-priced version of our bigger Thickburgers,” Puzder continued.

“Mid-period, Hardee’s debuted the Ham & Three Cheese Breakfast BurritoTM, featuring two folded eggs with diced ham and melted cheddar, American and Swiss cheeses, all wrapped up in a warm, flour tortilla. Hardee’s also improved its breakfast potato side item to one similar to those offered at sit-down restaurants. The new Country Potatoes include cubed chunks of whole, skin-on potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper,” added Puzder. “As of the end of period 12, the trailing 13-period average unit volume at Hardee’s was $990,000, a $36,000 per unit increase since the end of fiscal 2008, and the highest figure for the brand since fiscal 1995, which is as far back as we can check. In addition, Hardee’s period 12 average unit volume was higher than any comparable period as far back as we can check.”

For period 12, consolidated revenue from company-operated restaurants (exclusive of all franchise-related revenue and royalties) was approximately as follows: Carl’s Jr., $49.7 million and Hardee’s, $ 37.5 million for a total $ 87.2 million

“We will report same-store sales results for period 13 of fiscal year 2009, ending Jan. 26, 2009, on or about February 4, 2009.”

As of the end of its fiscal 2009 third quarter, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,110 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,185 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,912 Hardee’s restaurants.