Cracker Barrel CFO plans retirement
Sep 16, 2015
Lawrence Hyatt to remain through fiscal 2016, company says in 4Q earnings release
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. chief financial officer Lawrence Hyatt will retire by the end of the 2016 fiscal year, the company said Wednesday, while reporting fourth-quarter earnings.
Hyatt, who will turn 61 in October, has served as CFO of the Lebanon, Tenn.-based family-dining chain since January 2011. The company said he will participate in the search for his successor and assist with the transition.
“During his five years as Cracker Barrel's CFO, Larry's financial and business leadership have been instrumental to our company's success,” Sandra B. Cochran, Cracker Barrel president and CEO, said in a statement. “While we will be sad to see him leave, all of us wish Larry and his family the best in his retirement.”
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Prior to Cracker Barrel, Hyatt served as CFO at Nashville, Tenn.-basedO’Charley’s Inc.
The CFO announcement came as Cracker Barrel reported a profit increase during the fourth quarter ended July 31 of 21 percent, to $47.4 million, or $1.97 a share, from $39.2 million, or $1.63 a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue in the quarter rose 3.8 percent, to $719.2 million, from $692.7 million in the prior-year period.
Same-store restaurant sales in the quarter increased 3.8 percent, including a 3-percent increase in average check and a 0.8-percent increase in store traffic. The average menu price increase for the quarter was about 2.7 percent, the company said. Same-store sales at Cracker Barrel’s attached retail stores grew 0.6 percent during the quarter.
Cochran said she was pleased with the company’s performance, adding that it “reflects the strength of the differentiated Cracker Barrel brand and our ability to execute against our strategic initiatives to drive significant increases in comparable store sales and a 120 basis point improvement in operating income.”
In guidance for fiscal 2016, Cracker Barrel said it expects total revenue of between $2.90 billion and $2.95 billion, and earnings per share of between $7.15 and $7.30.
The company said the increased revenue projection for fiscal 2016 reflects the expected opening of seven or eight new Cracker Barrel units, and same-store sales increases of between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent.
Food commodity inflation in the year ahead is projected to range from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, which the company said was largely driven by expected increases in egg prices.
The company opened three new Cracker Barrel units during the quarter, for a total of six new openings during the fiscal year.
Cracker Barrel, founded in 1969, owns and operates 637 locations in 42 states