Kura Sushi USA Inc., the technology-oriented Japanese restaurant concept, reported a wider $1.4 million operating loss in the fiscal first quarter, however results were in line with prior estimates and comparable restaurant sales performed well.
The $1.4 million loss in the quarter ended Nov. 30th, compared with a $400,000 loss in the year-ago period. Overall, sales rose 30% during the quarter to $17.4 million, compared with year-ago figures and comparable restaurant sales were up 7.9%, driven by increases in traffic and average check size.
Company executives said they expect greater profitability later in the year, as six new restaurants are scheduled to open during fiscal 2020.
"Our first quarter loss was generally in line with our expectations, and we continue to expect our profits to be generated during the second half of the fiscal year, in line with historical cadence," CEO and President Hajime Uba said in a company press release. "Results in the first quarter included strong comparable restaurant sales growth, as guests continue to respond positively to our premium ingredients, affordable price points, and most importantly, the distinctive 'Kura Experience,' We remain excited about the balance of fiscal 2020 and have a number of drivers in place that we believe can sustain our momentum."
Q1 2020 Highlights
- Net loss was $1.2 million, or ($0.15) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $0.4 million, or ($0.08) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2019;
- Restaurant-level contribution* was $3 million, compared to $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2019
During the first quarter of 2020, no new restaurants were opened, but subsequent to the end of the quarter, it opened one restaurant in Katy, Texas.
Fiscal Year 2020 Outlook
For the full fiscal year of 2020, the Company reiterates the following annual assumptions:
- Total sales between $84 million and $87 million.
- Comparable restaurant sales growth between 2% and 4%.
Kura Sushi USA Inc., which has 24 locations in five states, offers guests a dining experience built on authentic Japanese cuisine and an engaging revolving sushi service model. It was established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Kura Sushi Inc., a Japan-based revolving sushi chain with over 400 restaurants and 35 years of brand history.
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