HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc. (Nasdaq:CHGO) announced that its first quarter 2003 revenues increased 37 percent to $23.8 million, up from $17.4 million in the comparable period last year.

According to a news release, the $6.4 million increase is primarily the result of sales generated at five restaurants opened from August 2002 to January 2003.

Same-store sales at BJ's Brewhouse units open more than 18 months rose 2.7 percent.

Net income for the period increased 12.5 percent to $828,000 (4 cents per share), in the quarter, compared with $736,000 (6 cents per share) last year. According to the release, the increase is related primarily to the exercise of 7.3 million redeemable warrants in the first half of 2002, which provided $35.9 million in proceeds to the company.

Chicago Pizza & Brewery co-CEO Paul Monteko said the company was pleased by its Q1 performance. "Our new locations continue to perform very well. ... For the balance of 2003, we expect to open four to five additional BJ's, continue to drive comparable store sales and further leverage our general and administrative infrastructure."

Chicago Pizza & Brewery operates 30 casual dining restaurants.

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