El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. announced financial results for the 13-week period and 52-week period ended December 28, 2016.
Highlights for the fourth quarter ended December 28, 2016, compared to the fourth quarter ended December 30, 2015 were as follows:
Total revenue increased 7.2 percent to $92.5 million compared to $86.3 million in the prior year.
System-wide comparable restaurant sales decreased 1.3 percent, including a 0.6 percent decrease for company-operated restaurants, and a 1.9% decrease for franchised restaurants.
Highlights for the fiscal year ended December 28, 2016, compared to the fiscal year ended December 30, 2015 were as follows:
Total revenue increased 7.1 percent to $380.1 million compared to $355.1 million.
System-wide comparable restaurant sales grew 0.9 percent, including a 0.6 percent increase for company-operated restaurants, and a 1.1 percent increase for franchised restaurants.
Steve Sather, president and chief executive officer of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., says, “We remain focused on differentiating El Pollo Loco from other [quick service] and fast causal concepts. Initiatives such as our authentic advertising campaign, highlighting our differentiated offering, our recently launched mobile and online ordering app, our upcoming delivery test, and our future launch of a loyalty program are all aimed at increasing our value equation, thereby strengthening the brand and driving financial results.”
Sather continues, “During the quarter we opened eight new company-operated restaurants along with seven new franchised locations, bringing our 2016 company-operated and franchised development totals to 18 and 13, respectively. In 2017, we expect to open 15-20 new company-operated locations and eight-12 franchised restaurants. We continue to work to partner with high quality franchisees as we strengthen our pipeline.”
Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Results
Company-operated restaurant revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased 7.1 percent to $86.5 million, compared to $80.7 million in the same period last year. The growth in company-operated restaurant revenue was largely driven by the 29 new restaurants opened during and subsequent to the fourth quarter of 2015.
Comparable company-operated restaurant sales in the fourth quarter decreased 0.6 percent driven by a 0.6 percent decrease in traffic and flat average check.
Franchise revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased 7.8 percent to $6 million, compared to $5.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Franchised comparable restaurant sales decreased 1.9 percent during the quarter. The growth in franchise revenue was largely driven by the contribution from the 16 new restaurants opened during and subsequent to the fourth quarter of 2015 partially offset by a decrease in comparable restaurant sales.
Restaurant contribution was $16 million or 18.5 percent of company-operated restaurant revenue, compared to $17.4 million, or 21.5 percent of company-operated restaurant revenue in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease in restaurant contribution margin was primarily the result of increased labor and occupancy and other operating expenses, and higher costs associated with new restaurants opened in 2015 and 2016 coupled with a decrease in comparable restaurant sales. This was partially offset by an improvement in food and paper costs.