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Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. (Nasdaq: CHKR ) today announced total revenue in the third quarter of 2002 increased 11.6% to $42.4 million from $37.9 million for the same period in 2001. The increase in revenue was due to increased comparable restaurant sales and additional Company operated restaurants, primarily from the reacquisition of franchise restaurants.
During the third quarter of 2002, same-store sales grew 1.4% in the quarter on top of a 13.6% increase in the third quarter of the prior year for Company-owned restaurants. Franchise restaurants same-store sales declined by just 0.5% for the quarter.
Daniel J. Dorsch, President and Chief Executive Officer stated: "The Company is pleased with system-wide same-store sales. While staying with our normal promotions, we focused on drive-thru service time improvements as we continued to build steady new customers with our award-winning, great-tasting quality food. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. was recently voted best burger in our home town of Tampa, Florida. Our approach is a steady consistent business plan."
Overall restaurant operating margin increased 5.0% for the third quarter 2002 over the same comparable period of last year. The primary reason attributed for this gain in margin was from better controls obtained from the system-wide corporate rollout of the new NCR/Aloha POS system. These new systems allowed better and timelier decisions on product movement and labor scheduling.
Overall total corporate net profit as a percentage of total revenues improved by 5.1% for the quarter ended September 9, 2002 as compared to the third quarter in 2001. During the quarter, three new franchise restaurants were opened, and four were transferred from the Company to franchisees. Going forward, we anticipate franchisees will open 6 to 9 new stores during the fourth quarter of this year and open 25 to 35 next year. The Company anticipates it will open up to 20 new stores during 2003.
During the current quarter, the Company invested $2.1 million on capital expenditures, predominantly for improvements in technology. This past year's leading technology initiatives were POS registers, drive-thru timers, and a corporate data warehouse and decision support system. The Company views technology as a way to differentiate itself and create competitive advantages by enhancing its ability to better plan, manage, and execute its strategy at the store level.
David Koehler, Chief Financial Officer, stated: "Our performance continues to set new benchmarks with our increasing cash balances, new technology in place, and improved operating margins. Similarly, our overall balance sheet improvement during the past 12 months is a clear testament to our business model and leadership direction. We continue to improve in key areas of this Company."