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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Provides Third Quarter Same-Store Sales Update


MARYVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RI) will be presenting today at the Bear Stearns Annual Retail, Restaurant and Apparel conference. In conjunction with this presentation and to provide the investment community with an update on performance in light of the recent inclement weather, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. today announced that third quarter same-store sales through February 24, 2003 at Company-owned Ruby Tuesday(R) restaurants increased 0.2%. Based on current momentum, the Company estimates third quarter (which ends March 4, 2003) same-store sales growth will be approximately 0.5%. Additionally, the Company re-iterates its third quarter diluted earnings per share guidance of $0.38-$0.39.

Sandy Beall, the Company's Chairman and CEO, commented, "We are pleased with our performance and momentum. After being up 0.8% in same-store sales in December, January sales continued the positive trend -- increasing 1.7% at Company-owned restaurants. Even with the severe weather impact over Valentine's/Presidents' Day weekend, which resulted in the closing of approximately 100 restaurants over a two day period, we are still projecting same-store sales to be positive for the quarter. We estimate that coupon redemptions will be approximately $1.3 million above our previous estimates as a result of sales building plans put in place during the quarter. In fact, the way the quarter was trending through December and January, we were projecting a same-store sales increase of 1.0-1.5% for the quarter prior to the inclement weather experienced over Valentine's/Presidents' Day weekend."

    For more information, contact:      Phone:  865-379-5700
    Price Cooper

    Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains various "forward-looking statements" which represent the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including the following: future financial performance and unit growth (both Company-owned and franchised), future capital expenditures, future borrowings and repayment of debt, and payment of dividends. The Company cautions that a number of important factors could, individually or in the aggregate, cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the following: consumer spending trends and habits; mall-traffic trends; increased competition in the casual dining restaurant market; weather conditions in the regions in which Company- owned and franchised restaurants are operated; consumers' acceptance of the Company's development prototypes; laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs; costs and availability of food and beverage inventory; the Company's ability to attract qualified managers, franchisees and team members; changes in the availability of capital; and general economic conditions.

SOURCE Ruby Tuesday, Inc.