Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: RUBO) today announced a 250% increase in pro forma net income for fiscal 2002 to $2.5 million or $0.28 per share. Fiscal 2002 net income was $691,000 or $0.08 per share.

For fourth quarter 2002, Rubio’s reported a net loss of $38,000 compared to a loss of $718,000 in the previous year.

Due to lower than expected costs of store closings in 2002, reductions in closed store reserves had a positive effect on net income. Including these reductions, fiscal 2002 net income was $3 million and fourth quarter net income was $148,000.

In the fifth consecutive quarter of positive comparable store sales, fourth quarter comps rose 2.6%. Fiscal 2002 comps were up 1.6% compared to a 0.3% decrease for fiscal 2001.

Rubio’s opened eight company stores and one franchise store in 2002. In addition, the company closed three stores and transferred four stores to a franchisee.

The company said it expects 2003 earnings to increase 11% to 18% to $0.31 to $0.33 per share compared with fiscal 2002 earnings (excluding reversal of closed store reserves). Comparable store sales are expected to increase 2% to 3% for fiscal 2003.

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