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Commenting on the performance for the period, Andrew F. Puzder, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Period 7 of last year marked the beginning of three consecutive months of exceptional same-store sales increases at Carl's Jr. During this time, we were fully engaged in the introduction and rollout of The Six Dollar Burger—our most successful product to date. Accordingly, Carl's Jr. reported same-store sales increases of 6.8 percent, 8.4 percent, and 6.4 percent, for periods 7, 8 and 9 of last year, respectively. Although we were able to retain a substantial portion of our sales increases in period 7 of this year, prior-year comparisons were simply tough to beat."
Continued Puzder, "At Hardee's, we remain focused on the operational aspects of the business that have contributed to—and we believe, will continue to yield—improvements in our margins and prospects for future profitability. During our last fiscal quarter, Hardee's reported gross margins of 12.3 percent, a 43 percent increase over the prior-year quarter. For our second fiscal quarter, ended August 12, we expect to report gross margins in-line with or above 12.3 percent. We are resolute in our strategy focused on premium products and limited discounting. In addition to new products and marketing programs to be unveiled throughout the remainder of this year and the beginning of next year, we are currently employing local store marketing initiatives and select product campaigns to bolster sales."
Concluded Puzder, "As always, we advise our stakeholders to view our periodic updates within the context of the progress we've made—and continue to make—over the long-term. The Carl's Jr. brand remains strong. However, we expect same-store sales to continue to fluctuate depending on prior-year comparables. At Hardee's, our primary focus is on the operational aspects of the business—supported by the planned introduction of exciting new products and media campaigns throughout the fall and winter."