US bakery-café chain Panera Bread has reported a 36% increase in third-quarter net income and raised its 2005 earnings target.

The company posted net income of US$11.7m, or 37 cents per share, for the 12 weeks to 4 October, compared to $8.6m, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Third-quarter revenues increased 31% to $148.6m, while system-wide comparable bakery-café sales increased 8.2% in the quarter.

The company opened 30 bakery-cafés in the third quarter, bringing its total number of outlets to 825.

Panera Bread raised its fourth quarter 2005 earnings target to between $0.48 and $0.49 per share. If this target is accomplished it would result in fiscal 2005 full year earnings per share of $1.62 to $1.63, an increase of 30% from 2004 results.