In what Chairman and CEO Ron Shaich described as record results, Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) today reported earnings per diluted share increased 46% to $0.19 for the 12 weeks ended July 12, 2003 compared to $0.13 for the same period a year ago.

The EPS increase resulted from 26% increase in total revenues to $78.55 million and a 47% increase in net income over the period to $5.7 million.

Supported by new store growth, systemwide sales for the quarter increased 29% to $215.1 million. Though posting positive systemwide comparable store sales for the 30th consecutive quarter, comps increased a less than stellar 0.2%. A wide gap was reported between company-owned stores at positive 2.3% and franchised stores at negative 0.7%. Shaich says he expects this trend to continue in the third and fourth quarters and has therefore reduced expected fiscal year comp growth to 1.5-2.0%.

Systemwide, 27 new units were opened and one franchised unit closed at lease end during the period. At quarter end, 531 stores were open with a total backlog of active additional franchise commitments in place of 450 as of July 12, 2003.

Panera announced a fiscal 2004 EPS target of $1.31, representing a 30% increase over the 2003 target assuming 140 new units opening, annual new unit volumes of $1.9 million, and a 3% increase in systemwide comparable store sales.

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