Same-store sales slip some more at Logan's

Job tax credits more than offset impact of traffic drop

The parent company of Logan's Roadhouse posted a $5.5 million profit in its second fiscal quarter, helped by almost $10 million in hiring-related tax credits.

Operating profits for the quarter fell to $5.9 million from $10.9 million as total sales inched up to almost $161 million.

Same-store sales at the Nashville-based restaurant chain fell 2.6 percent, which was due mainly to a 2.4 percent drop in traffic. The quarter continued a sales slump at Logan's, which posted same-store shrinkage of 1.9 percent last summer and 2.3 percent in the fall. CFO Amy Bertauski said, "Intense competition and continued negative consumer sentiment contributed to our comparable sales decline, which in turn resulted in lower restaurant operating profit."

Helping the company's bottom line for the quarter were $9.7 million of tax credits related to the retroactive reinstatement of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Those credits also wiped out a $701,000 impairment and store closing charge.

"While we are disappointed in our overall results, we are working diligently at improving our performance from current levels by focusing on initiatives to rebuild traffic," said Bertauski, who last month got a new boss in the shape of former McDonald's executive Mike Andres.