Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (NYSE: MRG) today said that consistent with its previous announcements, due to the continuing impact of the troubled economy, unfavorable business conditions, corporate spending cutbacks, and reduced business travel, it expects to report a loss for this third quarter ending September 30, 2001.
The company said it continues to experience weak revenue trends, and for the third quarter, through September 9, 2001, experienced negative comparable restaurant revenues of approximately 10.6%. In comparison, last year, for the third quarter of 2000, Morton’s of Chicago reported 12.3% growth in comparable restaurant revenues. The company noted that, prior to this year, Morton’s of Chicago had not experienced a decline in quarterly comparable restaurant revenues, since the first quarter of 1991.
These adverse operating conditions, unfavorable revenue trends and increased operating costs are expected to result in a loss for the current quarter. Additionally, investment banking, legal and other costs associated with the company’s evaluation of strategic alternatives will increase the loss for the period.
The company added that, if such unfavorable conditions continue, or worsen as a result of the recent World Trade Center tragedy, future results will also be adversely affected.
The company expressed its gratitude that all the employees of the Morton’s of Chicago steakhouse in the Wall Street area (located at 90 West Street) are safe and accounted for. The company noted that the building in which the restaurant is located was damaged and has been closed indefinitely. The full extent of the damage to the building and the restaurant can not be determined at this time. All of the company’s other restaurants are open and operating normally.
The company also said that it is continuing the process of exploring its strategic alternatives, including evaluating a potential sale of the company. The process includes discussions with interested parties, as well as an evaluation of any offers that may be received.
Except for the historical information contained in this news release, the matters addressed are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, general economic conditions, competitive activities, the company’s expansion plans and restaurant profitability levels and other matters identified from time to time in the company’s public reports and SEC filings. Actual results may vary.