Columbus, Ohio-based full-service restaurant chain Bob Evans Farms saw sales in its "core" 431 outlets (open for the whole of FYs 2001 and 2002) drop 1.7% in the August month of its FY 2003, compared to the same period last year.

"We are concerned about the negative trend for same-store sales," admitted chairman and CEO Stewart K. Owens, who added that menu prices for the month were up about 2.7%.

"At the same time," Owens continued, "low hog costs on the food products side of our business are favourably impacting profitability in that segment.

"We see that continuing, so we remain positive about our previous guidance of about US$0.55 per share for the Q2 and about US$2.00 per share for FY 2003."