Feb. 18--Panera Bread Co.'s profits rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter, the Sunset Hills-based company reported today.
Its net income for the 14 weeks ended Dec. 31 was $54 million, or $1.96 per share, compared to $52 million, or $1.75 a share, in the 13-week period ended Dec. 25, 2012. The company noted that the additional week helped fourth-quarter earnings by 13 cents a share.
But severe weather in the quarter impacted the number of transactions in its cafes, which declined slightly by less than 1 percent. Meanwhile, the average check in its cafes grew about 2.5 percent in the quarter, mostly because of price increases. So overall, cafes open at least a year saw sales increase 1.1 percent in the quarter.
Panera's total revenue in the quarter rose 16 percent to $662 million, up from $572 million a year earlier.
The company also set an earnings-per-share target in 2014 of $6.80 to $7.05, which would be a 5 to 8 percent increase over last year.
But severe winter weather has continued to impact Panera in the first quarter with sales at company-owned cafes open at least a year down 2.2 percent in the first 48 days.
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