Panera Bread Company (Nasdaq: PNRA) chairman and chief executive officer Ron Shaich yesterday noted, “`In recent days there has been much concern among investors about the ability of companies in our industry to meet previously defined earnings targets. Based on our continued strong opening volumes and operating performance, we are today reiterating our confidence in Panera Bread Company’s ability to meet our earnings per share target of $0.19 in the third quarter and $0.86 for the full year, which represents a 65% increase over 2000. We would further add that, based on what we know at this point in time, we do not foresee any material impact on our business plan nor the ability to meet our longer-term earnings targets as a result of the attacks on September 11th and their impact on the economy. We therefore continue to maintain a 2002 earnings per share target of $1.16, which represents a 35% increase over our 2001 target.”
The Company also reported that system-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales increased 2.8% for the four weeks ended September 8, 2001. For the thirty-six weeks ended September 8, 2001, system-wide comparable bakery-cafe sales increased 5.6%. The breakdown between company-owned and franchised bakery- cafes is as follows:
For the Four For the Thirty-Six
Weeks Ended Weeks Ended
September 8, 2001 September 8, 2001
Company-owned 2.2% 5.6%
Franchised 3.2% 5.6%
Total System 2.8% 5.6%
Average system-wide weekly sales (excluding the three specialty bakery- cafes) increased 4.8% to $33,984 for the four weeks ended September 8, 2001 compared to $32,415 for the four weeks ended September 2, 2000.
Shaich commented, “Comparable bakery-cafe sales in Period 9 (the four-week period ended September 8th) were negatively impacted by the timing of the Labor Day Holiday between this year and last year. Labor Day fell in Period 9 this year and in Period 10 last year. Historically, comparable bakery-cafe sales have decreased from baseline trend by between 1% to 2% during the four-week period in which the Labor Day Holiday falls. As a result, we would normally expect Period 10 (the four-week period from September 9th – October 6th) comparable bakery-cafe sales this year to be 1% to 2% higher than baseline trend. However, the tragic events of September 11th will negatively affect comparable bakery-cafe sales in Period 10 by approximately 1%. Therefore, the timing of the Labor Day Holiday and the effect of the attacks on September 11th will offset each other in Period 10 and we expect comparable bakery-cafe sales to be on the baseline trend (2% to 5%) for the four-week period that will end on October 6, 2001.”
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names. The company is a leader in the emerging specialty bread/cafe category due to its unique bread combined with a quick, casual dining experience. Additional information is available on the company’s website, www.panerabread.com .
Matters discussed in this news release, including any discussion or impact, express or implied, on the Company’s anticipated growth, operating results and future earnings per share contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (identified by the words “positioned”, “estimate”, “project”, “target”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “future”, “anticipates”, and similar expressions) which express management’s present belief, expectations or intentions regarding the Company’s future performance. Moreover, the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements due to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and could be negatively impacted by a number of factors. These factors include but are not limited to the following: the ability of the Company to aggressively expand its business going forward is subject to the availability of sufficient capital to it and the developers party to franchise development agreements with the Company; and the Company’s operating results may be affected by many factors, including but not limited to variations in the number and timing of bakery-cafe openings and public acceptance of new bakery-cafes, competition and other factors that may affect retailers in general. These and other risks are detailed from time to time in the Company’s SEC reports, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2000.