California Pizza Kitchen's comparable store sales up in 3Q '03

Oct. 8, 2003

LOS ANGELES — California Pizza Kitchen, Inc., (Nasdaq:CPKI) says revenues increased approximately 18 percent to $93.1 million for the third quarter ended September 28, up from $78.9 million in 2002's third quarter.

CPK's comparable restaurant sales increased approximately 2 percent for the latest quarter, versus a 5.3 increase for the same period in 2002. The increase in comparable restaurant sales resulted primarily from an increase in average check due to price increases taken in November 2002 and September 2003 and changes in the menu mix. This was offset by a slight decrease in customer traffic during the quarter, however. 

As previously discussed during its July 24 second quarter conference call, CPK management has been reviewing its portfolio of newer restaurants. As a result of this review, management anticipates incurring a non-cash impairment charge in which will combine with a non-recurring severance charge related to the July management transition.

The total amount of these charges, which will be incurred in the third quarter, is expected to range from $13 million to $16 million.

CPK remains comfortable with its previous earnings per share guidance of 21 cents to 23 cents for the current quarter.

During the third quarter, the company opened seven new restaurants -- including locations in Illinois, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Minnesota and California -- for a total of 17 new restaurants to date in 2003. CPK expects to open five new restaurants in 2003's fourth quarter, for a total of 22 new restaurants this year.

The company plans to release its third quarter earnings on Oct. 23.

Topics: California Pizza Kitchen , Public Companies

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