Orange County Business Journal

BJ’s Q4: Sales Up Despite Volatility

Kari Hamanaka Friday, January 11, 2013

Huntington Beach-based BJ’s Restaurants Inc. said same-store sales for its fourth-quarter ended Jan. 1 grew 3% even as the company, along with the rest of the retail and restaurant industry, faced a tough operating environment.

“We continue to be pleased with the top-line results from both our comparable restaurants and our newer restaurants, particularly in light of the continuing volatile and choppy environment for retail and restaurant sales in general,” said BJ’s Chairman and Chief Executive Jerry Deitchle in a statement. “Our sales comparisons were quite choppy during the quarter, especially during the first three weeks of the holiday season. As expected, the uneven and less-predictable sales volumes made it more challenging for our restaurant operators to optimize their bottom-line results.”

The same-store sales growth compares with a 5.1% increase in the year-ago period.

The company, which owns and operates 130 restaurants, said unaudited revenue for the January quarter increased 7.6% to $184.8 million.

Shares of BJ’s Restaurants were about flat in afternoon trading Friday. The company had a recent market value of $950 million.

The company said it plans to open as many as 17 restaurants this year, following 16 restaurant openings last year.

Deitchle is expected to step down as chief executive Feb. 1 and will remain chairman of the board.

He will be succeeded by President Gregory Trojan.

BJ’s said it expects to release its January quarter and full-year results in mid-February.