Prandium, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: PDIM) reported sales of $78.0 million for its fiscal third quarter ending September 24, 2000. Sales for the quarter were primarily derived from the ongoing operations of its Koo Koo Roo, Chi-Chi’s and Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chains. For its third quarter, Prandium reported income of 26 cents per share, or $46.1 million, including a $61.0 million gain on the sale of the El Torito Division which closed on June 28, 2000, compared to a loss of 5 cents per share, or $9.5 million for the third quarter in 1999. Prandium’s balance sheet improved during the quarter with an increase in cash to $68.1 million and a $36.2 million reduction in total debt from June 25, 2000, including the payoff of all working capital borrowings. Operating losses for the quarter totaled $6.5 million compared to losses of $1.2 million for the same quarter in 1999. Consolidated EBITDA was $638,000 for the third quarter of 2000, as compared to $8.3 million in the same quarter in 1999, which included the former El Torito Division.

For the nine months ended September 24, 2000, Prandium’s income was 18 cents per share, or $32.5 million, compared to losses of 12 cents per share, or $22.4 million in the same period of 1999. This improvement was attributed to the $61.0 million gain on sale of the El Torito Division in the third quarter, offset by $24.3 million in interest expense, $2.6 million in operating losses and an income tax provision of $1.5 million.

Prandium sales for the nine months ended September 24, 2000 totaled $349.0 million, a decrease of $59.8 million as compared to the same period in 1999. This lower sales level was primarily related to the divestiture of the El Torito Division and the sale or closure of other restaurants. In spite of this, Prandium’s product and payroll costs as a percentage of sales remained flat when comparing the first nine months of 2000 to the same period in 1999. The sale of the El Torito Division and certain internal reorganization efforts in the third quarter of 2000 also led to a reduction of general and administrative costs. For the nine month period, these costs were $3.6 million lower than those of the same period in 1999. As a result, the company reported a nine month consolidated EBITDA, including the El Torito Division through June 27, 2000, of $19.1 million.

“We are evaluating how to best use the cash we received from sale of the El Torito Division,” says Kevin Relyea, Prandium, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer. “We are also undertaking a number of initiatives to strengthen our on-going businesses and to make the necessary organizational adjustments due to the sale.”

Prandium, Inc. is located at 18831 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612. To contact the company call (949) 757-7900, or the toll-free investor information line at (888) 288-PRAN, or link to Address email to