Orlando-based Darden Restaurants' fourth-quarter earnings fell 12
percent year-over-year despite increased sales, the company reported Friday.
Profit of $133.3 million, or $1.01 per share, missed analysts' estimates of $1.03 per share, but revenues of $2.3 billion beat Wall Street expectations of $2.27 billion. Revenues rose 11 percent for the quarter.
The company posted similar numbers for the entire fiscal year. Sales rose to $8.6 billion, a 6.9 percent increase from the previous year. Profit was down 12 percent to $412.6 million, or $3.14 per share, compared with $476.5 million, or $3.58.
The company has focused more on lower-price offers, chief executive officer Clarence Otis said, and that put a dent in profit margins.
At Olive Garden, which has been struggling in the past couple of years, sales improved, with established restaurants revenues rising 1.1 percent.
The company boosted its dividend to 55 cents.
(c)2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
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