Jack in the Box Inc. operator and franchiser of Jack in the Box restaurants, today announced that net earnings for its third quarter ended July 7th increased 15 percent to $24.2 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $21 million, or 53 cents per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2001.

Year-to-date, net earnings have increased 8.9 percent to $69.1 million from $63.4 million last year, with earnings per share at $1.72 versus $1.60 a year ago.

Earnings results include adjustments for the adoption of SAB 101, which occurred in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001. On a full-year basis, SAB 101 adjustments are expected to have an immaterial impact on operating results.

Company restaurant sales grew 5.2 percent to $428 million in the third quarter compared with last year. Year-to-date, company restaurant sales have increased 7.4 percent to $1.4 billion compared with fiscal 2001.

Total revenues for the quarter increased 6.1 percent to $461 million, and systemwide sales were $525 million, a 4.8 percent increase. Year-to-date revenues have increased 8 percent to $1.5 billion, with year-to-date systemwide sales increasing 6.4 percent to $1.7 billion.

Sales at company restaurants open more than a year decreased 1.5 percent compared with a 4.3 percent increase in last year’s third quarter. Year-to-date, same-store sales have decreased 0.3 percent compared with a 4.2 percent increase in fiscal 2001.

“We experienced continued softness in our sales during the quarter due to significant competitive activity and to certain markets in the West where economic difficulties persist,” said Chairman and CEO Robert J. Nugent. “We are disappointed in our sales results; however, we are pleased to report increased growth in earnings,” he added. “Our efforts to selectively increase the use of franchising, as well as benefits from our new Profit Improvement Program, continue to help position Jack in the Box for improved, long-term operating results.”

News, Jack in the Box