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Total revenues for the thirteen-week period ended March 31, 2001, increased 8.5% to $7,134,000, which represents a record first quarter for the company. The increase is the result of improvements in same-store sales over the thirteen weeks ended April 1, 2000, as well as additional franchise fee income from the opening of five franchises in the first quarter of 2001 compared with three in the first quarter of 2000. A 14.0% increase in royalty fees due to net growth of seven franchised stores since April 1, 2000, also contributed to the increase. EBITDA increased 33.5% to $726,000 for the first quarter of 2001 from $544,000 in the year-earlier period. Net income increased 140.0% for the first quarter of 2001 to $156,000, or $.03 per diluted share, from $65,000, or $.01 per diluted share, during the first quarter of 2000. In the prior year, a $131,000 gain on the sale of unutilized assets had a positive impact on EBITDA and net income figures. Same-store sales for the first quarter of 2001 increased 2.4% for company-operated restaurants and decreased 2.0% for franchised restaurants.
The company also announced the promotion of Michael W. Myers to the position of president, effective April 1, 2001. Mr. Myers will continue to serve as the chief operating officer of the company as he has since joining the company in August of 1999. Myers previously served as regional vice president for Whataburger, Inc. and has 17 years of restaurant industry experience. Commenting on the promotion, Lattimore M. Michael, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, "Mike has had a tremendous impact on our operations over the past eighteen months and brings a great deal of discipline and focus to the company. We are confident that he will continue to have a positive impact on the company going forward.''
As of March 31, 2001, the company's restaurant system comprised 95 units, including 35 company-operated stores and 60 franchised stores. Expansion plans for the remainder of 2001 includes three company-operated stores and seven or more franchised stores.
Back Yard Burgers operates and franchises quick-service restaurants in Memphis, Little Rock, Nashville, and other markets across 17 states. The restaurants specialize in charbroiled, freshly prepared, great-tasting food. As its name implies, Back Yard Burgers strives to offer the same high-quality ingredients and special care typified by outdoor grilling in the backyard. Its menu features made-to-order gourmet Black Angus hamburgers and chicken sandwiches—charbroiled over an open flame, fresh salads, chili and other special entrees, as well as hand-dipped milkshakes, fresh-made lemonade and fresh-baked cobblers.