California Pizza Kitchen Q1 revenue down slightly

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter ending April 3, including a 0.5 percent decrease in revenues from the same quarter last year. Total revenues for Q1 '11 were $156 million.

Full-service unit sales were down 2.1 percent. The company generated a supplemental gift card revenue of $0.7 million compared to $1.4 million from Q1 '10.

CPK's net income for the quarter was $2.1 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

Despite the slight drop in sales, Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, co-CEOs, are optimistic about the remainder of the fiscal year based on a new menu optimization program launched in mid-February, which reduced hourly labor cost relative to the prior year. The program also shifted the company's sales mix to higher margin items.

"We attained these productivity and margin gains without sacrificing the guest experience and look forward to realizing the full impact of this initiative throughout the year," Rosenfield and Flax said in a joint statement. "We were pleased that first quarter earnings exceeded our previously estimated range and credit effective cost management at both the restaurant and corporate level for achieving these results."

Rosenfield and Flax added that 2011 will be focused on several key areas to build shareholder value. Among these are menu optimization to reduce costs, new product introductions that embrace seasonal selections and health and wellness-inspired items and global expansion.

"Menu optimization should not only reduce costs, but also scale our menu selections to a level which improves overall execution. Our global presence will continue to expand with the expected opening of 10 international franchised locations," they said. "Achieving measurable success across these objectives will not only enhance our brand equity, but also increase our return on assets, bolster our free cash flow and further strengthen our balance sheet."

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