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Ruby Tuesday, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Fiscal 2009 Results; Improving Profitability, Guest Counts and Same-Restaurant Sales Trends Continued

07/07/2009

MARYVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 7, 2009-- Ruby Tuesday, Inc. today reported diluted earnings per share of $0.28 on net income of $14.4 million for the Company’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, which ended on June 2, 2009. This compares to diluted earnings per share of $0.27 on net income of $13.9 million for the fourth quarter of the prior year.

Same-restaurant sales for the fourth quarter decreased 3.2% and 6.9% at Company-owned and domestic franchise Ruby Tuesday restaurants, respectively. Guest traffic at Company-owned same-restaurants was positive in the quarter.

For the fiscal year ended June 2, 2009, the Company reported a diluted loss per share of $0.35 on a net loss of $17.9 million as compared to earnings per share of $0.51 on net income of $26.4 million for fiscal 2008. The fiscal 2009 loss includes after-tax charges for restaurant closures and impairments and the impairment of goodwill that totaled $0.92 per share or $47.2 million.

Sandy Beall, Founder and CEO, commented on the fiscal year results, saying, “Fiscal 2009 was the most challenging year in our Company’s 37 year history. I am proud of the way our team members met those challenges and were able to stabilize our trends and begin to improve our performance relative to that of others in our industry. Our key accomplishments for the year were to:

  • Slow the rate of decline in same-restaurant sales to 3.2% in the fourth quarter, from 6.8% in the third quarter and 10.8% in the first half;
  • Achieve positive guest traffic in the fourth quarter;
  • Improve our sales and guest traffic performance relative to our peers as measured by Knapp Track;
  • Reduce our cost structure by a projected $45-50 million annualized, more than offsetting our investments in value through our menu upgrades and marketing initiatives, as well as inflationary and other cost increases;
  • Maintain positive free cash flow and pay down of $112 million of debt during the year;
  • Maintain quality restaurant operations as indicated by continued high guest satisfaction scores and very low team turnover.

“Although pleased with our recent sales trends, we are far from satisfied. Looking to our current fiscal year, our corporate strategies are to maintain a continued focus on and execution of our 2009 strategies and carry the momentum generated by our cost-savings and marketing initiatives in the second half of fiscal 2009 through the new fiscal year. The following are our key priorities: get customers in seats, increasing restaurant traffic and sales; maximize cash flow and use that cash flow to reduce debt; further strengthen our brand through quality – serving high-quality food, providing gracious hospitality, and offering compelling value. While the environment remains uncertain, we are confident in our strategies, our team, and its ability to execute our operating standards.”

Quarterly Highlights

Fourth quarter fiscal 2009 same-restaurant sales were:

       

March

April

May

Fourth
Quarter

Company-Owned -1.3% -6.0% -2.8% -3.2%
Domestic Franchise

-4.7%

-10.5%

-6.3%

-6.9%

 

Other highlights for the 13-week fourth quarter:

  • Total revenue decreased 7.1% from the same period of the prior year primarily because of the decline in same-restaurant sales and a net decrease of 49 restaurants from the same quarter of the prior year largely reflecting the closure of 43 restaurants in the third quarter of fiscal 2009.
  • The Company acquired one Ruby Tuesday restaurant from a franchisee in Texas and did not open or close any restaurants during the quarter.
  • Domestic and international franchisees opened four new Ruby Tuesday restaurants during the quarter and closed five including the one acquired by the Company.
  • Sales at domestic and international franchise Ruby Tuesday restaurants (which is the basis for determining royalty fees included in franchise revenue on the Company’s statement of operations) totaled $96,592,117 and $100,167,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 and 2008, respectively.
  • Total capital expenditures were $3.0 million for the quarter.
  • Debt was reduced by $32 million.
  • The Company had 52.8 million shares of common stock outstanding at the end of the quarter.

Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights

  • Total revenue decreased 8.2% from the prior year.
  • Same-restaurant sales for the fiscal year decreased 7.9% and 6.6% at Company-owned and domestic franchise Ruby Tuesday restaurants, respectively.
  • The Company opened four new Ruby Tuesday restaurants, acquired one restaurant from a franchisee and closed 54 restaurants, one of which was converted to a Wok Hay.
  • Domestic and international franchisees opened 19 new Ruby Tuesday restaurants and closed 14 including the one acquired by the Company.
  • Sales at domestic and international franchise Ruby Tuesday restaurants (which is the basis for determining royalty fees included in franchise revenue on the Company’s statement of operations) totaled $383,738,403 and $411,968,000 for fiscal 2009 and 2008, respectively.
  • Total capital expenditures were $17.2 million for fiscal year 2009.
  • Debt was reduced by $112 million.

Fiscal Year 2010 Guidance

  • New restaurant development -- We do not plan to open any Company-owned restaurants in fiscal 2010 and expect to close approximately 14 as part of our previously announced plan to close 30 restaurants over time when their leases expire. We project our franchisees will open 6 restaurants, 5 of which will be international.
  • Same-restaurant sales -- We estimate same-restaurant sales for the year will be in the range of down 2.5-3.5%.
  • Restaurant operating margins are anticipated to be down reflecting the impact of our marketing strategy of compelling value and its impact on food costs and some loss of leverage from the anticipated decline in same-restaurant sales. The actual cost of our food products is expected to remain favorable compared with the prior year.
  • Other expenses. Depreciation is projected in the $62-65 million range and selling, general, and administrative expenses are targeted to be down in the low to mid teens from a year earlier. Interest expense is projected to be $23-25 million and the tax rate is estimated to be 10-20%. Fully diluted shares outstanding are estimated to be approximately 52 million for the year.
  • Diluted earnings per share for the year are projected to be in the $0.50-0.65 range.
  • Capital expenditures are estimated to be $17-20 million.

In closing, Mr. Beall said, “Despite the difficult environment, our restaurant operations remained strong throughout the year reflecting our commitment to our core operating strategies of Uncompromising Freshness and Quality, Gracious Hospitality, Fresh New Look, and Compelling Value. Our Guest Satisfaction Index scores continue to reflect solid ratings and our entire team is dedicated to maintaining and improving them in fiscal 2010.

“We remain highly focused on the priorities I mentioned earlier – getting people in seats, maximizing cash flow and reducing debt to strengthen our balance sheet, and further strengthen our brand through the consistent application of our brand strategies. It will be through the intense focus on and consistent application of these priorities and strategies that we will further rebuild shareholder value.”

A FRESH NEW RUBY TUESDAY

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has Company-owned and/or franchise Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and 13 foreign countries. As of June 2, 2009, the Company-owned and operated 672 Ruby Tuesday restaurants, while domestic and international franchisees (including Hawaii) operated 173 and 56 restaurants, respectively. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RT).

The Company will host a conference call, which will be a live web-cast, this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The call will be available live at the following websites:

http://www.rubytuesday.com

http://www.fulldisclosure.com

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains various forward-looking statements which represent our expectations or beliefs concerning future events, including one or more of the following: future financial performance and restaurant growth (both Company-owned and franchised), future capital expenditures, future borrowings and repayment of debt, availability of debt financing on terms attractive to the Company, payment of dividends, stock repurchases, and restaurant and franchise acquisitions and refranchises. We caution the reader that a number of important factors and uncertainties could, individually or in the aggregate, cause our actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements (such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to cost savings that we estimate may result from any programs we implement, our estimates of future capital spending and free cash flow, our targets for annual growth in same-restaurant sales and average annual sales per restaurant, and our strategy to obtain the equivalent of an investment-grade bond rating), including, without limitation, the following: general economic conditions; changes in promotional, couponing and advertising strategies; guests’ acceptance of changes in menu items; guests’ acceptance of our development prototypes and remodeled restaurants; changes in our guests’ disposable income; consumer spending trends and habits; mall-traffic trends; increased competition in the restaurant market; weather conditions in the regions in which Company-owned and franchised restaurants are operated; laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs, including further potential increases in state and federally mandated minimum wages; costs and availability of food and beverage inventory; our ability to attract qualified managers, franchisees and team members; changes in the availability and cost of capital; impact of adoption of new accounting standards; impact of food-borne illnesses resulting from an outbreak at either Ruby Tuesday or other restaurant concepts; effects of actual or threatened future terrorist attacks in the United States; and significant fluctuations in energy prices.

RUBY TUESDAY, INC.

                   
Financial Results For the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal Year 2009
(Amounts in thousands except per share amounts)
 
 
13 Weeks 13 Weeks 52 Weeks 52 Weeks
Ended Ended Ended Ended
June 2, Percent June 3, Percent Percent June 2, Percent June 3, Percent Percent
2009   of Revenue 2008   of Revenue   Change   2009   of Revenue 2008   of Revenue Change
 
Revenue:
Restaurant sales and operating revenue $ 315,077 99.3 $ 338,309 99.1 $ 1,239,104 99.2 $ 1,346,721 99.0
Franchise revenue   2,178   0.7   3,042   0.9   9,452   0.8   13,583   1.0
Total revenue 317,255 100.0 341,351 100.0 (7.1 ) 1,248,556 100.0 1,360,304 100.0 (8.2 )
 
Operating Costs and Expenses:
(as a percent of Restaurant sales and operating revenue)
Cost of merchandise 93,053 29.5 91,722 27.1 349,362 28.2 370,693 27.5
Payroll and related costs 101,900 32.3 112,274 33.2 421,023 34.0 446,910 33.2
Other restaurant operating costs 60,691 19.3 66,763 19.7 256,063 20.7 269,414 20.0
Depreciation and amortization 17,592 5.6 20,824 6.2 74,973 6.1 93,845 7.0
(as a percent of Total revenue)
Loss from Specialty Restaurant Group, LLC bankruptcy 62 0.0 36 0.0 (52 ) 0.0 288 0.0
Selling, general and administrative, net 14,821 4.7 26,784 7.8 82,167 6.6 114,403 8.4
Closures and impairments 1,503 0.5 1,821 0.5 55,003 4.4 6,165 0.5
Goodwill impairment 18,957 1.5
Equity in (earnings)/losses of unconsolidated franchises   (462 ) (0.1 )   (41 ) 0.0   (14 ) 0.0   3,535   0.3
Total operating costs and expenses   289,160     320,183     1,257,482     1,305,253  
 
Earnings/(Loss) before Interest and Taxes 28,095 8.9 21,168 6.2 32.7 (8,926 ) (0.7 ) 55,051 4.0 (116.2 )
 
Interest expense, net   6,470   2.0   7,524   2.2   33,940   2.7   31,352   2.3
 
Pre-tax Profit/(Loss) 21,625 6.8 13,644 4.0 58.5 (42,866 ) (3.4 ) 23,699 1.7 (280.9 )
 
Provision/(benefit) for income taxes   7,179   2.3   (286 ) (0.1 )   (24,948 ) (2.0 )   (2,678 ) (0.2 )
 
Net Income/(Loss) $ 14,446   4.6 $ 13,930   4.1 3.7 $ (17,918 ) (1.4 ) $ 26,377   1.9 (167.9 )
 
 
 
Earnings/(Loss) Per Share:
Basic $ 0.28   $ 0.27   3.7 $ (0.35 ) $ 0.51   (168.6 )
Diluted $ 0.28   $ 0.27   3.7 $ (0.35 ) $ 0.51   (168.6 )
 
Shares:
Basic   51,403     51,381     51,395     51,572  
Diluted   51,403     51,420     51,395     51,688  
 
 
RUBY TUESDAY, INC.
   
Financial Results For the Fourth Quarter
of Fiscal Year 2009
(Amounts in thousands)
 
June 2, June 3,
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS 2009 2008
Assets
Cash and Short-Term Investments $9,760 $16,032
Accounts and Notes Receivable 8,095 10,515
Inventories 21,025 21,323
Income Tax Receivable 8,632 7,708
Deferred Income Taxes 15,918 4,525
Assets Held for Sale 16,120 24,268
Prepaid Rent and Other Expenses 13,423 20,538
 
Total Current Assets 92,973 104,909
 
Property and Equipment, Net 985,099 1,088,356
Goodwill, Net 18,927
Notes Receivable, Net 713 1,884
Other Assets 45,411 57,861
 
Total Assets $1,124,196 $1,271,937
 
Liabilities

Current Portion of Long Term Debt, including Capital Leases

$16,841 $17,301
Other Current Liabilities 97,158 97,852
Long-Term Debt, including Capital Leases 476,566 588,142
Deferred Income Taxes 20,706 27,422
Deferred Escalating Minimum Rents 41,010 42,450
Other Deferred Liabilities 55,549 67,252
 
Total Liabilities 707,830 840,419
 
Shareholders' Equity 416,366 431,518
 

Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity

$1,124,196 $1,271,937

Source: Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Steve Rockwell, 865-379-5700