Ruth’s Chris acquisition, new openings drive Darden’s sales growth

(Source: Ruth's Chris Steak House)

New York-listed company Darden Restaurants has reached $3 billion in sales for the fourth quarter, driven by a new acquisition and restaurant openings.

Darden is the owner of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V’s and Bahama Breeze.

The company’s sales for the quarter ended May 26 rose 6.8 per cent year on year, attributed to the addition of 80 company-owned Ruth’s Chris restaurants acquired in June last year and 37 other net new restaurants.

Same-restaurant sales were flat, with LongHorn Steakhouse being the only chain to record growth.

On the bottom line, net earnings edged down to $308 million from $315 million in the prior-year period.

For the full fiscal year, total sales increased 8.6 per cent to $11.4 billion, with same-restaurant sales up 1.6 per cent. Net earnings rose to $1.027 billion from $981 million in the previous year.

The company expects to achieve total sales of $11.8 to $11.9 billion and same-restaurant sales growth of 1-2 per cent this year.

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