Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) today reported net income in the third quarter ended September 30, 2000 rose 146% to $1,644,000, or $0.12 per diluted share, from $669,000 or $0.05 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the forty weeks ended September 30, 2000, net income climbed 205% to $4,543,000, or $0.35 per diluted share (exclusive of the one-time gain related to the sale of Au Bon Pain for $900,000), from $1,490,000, or $0.12 per diluted share, for Panera Bread on a stand alone basis (which excludes the results of the Au Bon Pain Business Unit that was sold on May 16, 1999 and includes an allocation for overhead services provided by Au Bon Pain Co., Inc. in 1999) in the corresponding period a year ago.

The company reported cash flow, as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $4,680,000 in the third quarter of 2000 compared to $2,619,000 for the same period a year ago. On a year to date basis, EBITDA (excluding the gain related to the sale of Au Bon Pain) climbed 90% to $13,753,000 from $7,234,000 for Panera Bread on a stand- alone basis in 1999.

System-wide sales for Panera Bread increased 70% to $85.4 million in the third quarter of 2000 from $50.3 million for Panera Bread on a stand-alone basis in the third quarter last year. Year to date system-wide sales rose 74% to $248.0 million in 2000 from $142.7 million for Panera Bread on a stand- alone basis in the same period last year.

System-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales increased 10.2% for the third quarter and 10.0% on a year to date basis. Comparable company-owned bakery- cafe sales increased 9.8% for the third quarter and 8.9% for the year to date period. Franchised comparable bakery-cafe sales increased 10.7% for the third quarter and 11.5% on a year to date basis. This marks the 19th consecutive quarter that Panera Bread (on a stand alone basis) has reported positive comparable company bakery-cafe sales.

In the third quarter of 2000, 15 new Panera Bread bakery-cafes were opened. Three of those opened were company-owned bakery-cafes and 12 were franchised bakery-cafes. This brings the total number of new Panera Bread bakery-cafes opened to date this year to 50 (8 company-owned and 42 franchised bakery-cafes). As of September 30, 2000, 231 Panera Bread bakery-cafes were operating in 27 states (89 company-owned and 142 franchised bakery-cafes) and there are franchise commitments in place for the development of an additional 499 bakery-cafes.

The system-wide average annualized bakery-cafe volume for all Panera Bread bakery-cafes open (excluding four that are specialty cafes) was $1,576,000 through the end of the third quarter. This represents a 17% increase over the average annualized bakery-cafe volumes during the same period last year. Average annualized unit volume for the 50 bakery-cafes opened in 2000 is $1,753,000. The last 155 bakery-cafes that have been built using our new prototype design have an average annualized bakery-cafe volume of $1,694,000.

Ron Shaich, chairman and chief executive officer commented on development activities, “In October, we opened 10 bakery-cafes (1 company-owned and 9 franchised bakery-cafes). There are also 33 bakery-cafes (4 company-owned and 29 franchised bakery-cafes) currently under construction. As a result of this progress, we believe that we will be able to meet or exceed our target of 70 openings (10 company and 60 franchised) in 2000. In 2001, we are currently targeting 80 new bakery-cafe openings (13 company-owned and 67 franchised bakery-cafes).”

Shaich concluded, “We are obviously quite pleased with our third quarter performance and the underlying leading indicators which speak to future results. The fact that our 50 openings in 2000 are performing at an average annualized unit volume of $1,753,000 is very positive. These volumes speak to the consumer response to our concept and the long-term potential for our growth. As a result of our continuing strong operating trends, we are revising our previously announced targets upward. We are now targeting our fourth quarter earnings to be $0.16 per share and our full year 2000 earnings per share (excluding the one-time gain related to the sale of Au Bon Pain) at $.51 ($.55 including the gain on the sale of Au Bon Pain). From this elevated 2000 base, we continue to target a 30% growth rate in earnings per share which would result in an increase to our 2001 earnings target to $.66 per share.”

Panera Bread Company owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names.

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