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Ahead of the Bell: Bloomin' Brands

Associated Press Published: September 5, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Bloomin' Brands Inc., which operates Outback Steakhouse and other restaurant chains, said its second-quarter net income rose 25 percent, boosted by higher sales and labor-cost improvements.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Tampa, Fla.-based company, which went public in August, earned $17.4 million, or 16 cents per share, up from $14 million, or 13 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding charges related to debt refinancing and management fees, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 18 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Bloomin credited the jump in profit to higher sales and better management of labor costs stemming from productivity initiatives.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to $980.9 million from $955.5 million, boosted by increases in the number of customers and "modest" price increases, the company said.

Revenue at domestic company owned restaurants open at least 18 months increased 2.4 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue at stores that opened or closed during the year.

The increase, which covered Bloomin's four major restaurant brands, included 2.3 percent growth at Outback Steakhouse restaurants and a 6.8 percent jump at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar locations.

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