UPDATE 1-Carl's Jr parent CKE same-store sales rise 0.4 pct

miércoles 7 de enero de 2009 14:42 CET
 

Jan 7 (Reuters) - CKE Restaurants Inc CKR.N, the parent of Carl's Jr and Hardee's, posted only slightly higher sales for the four weeks ended Dec. 29, as unfavourable weather and deep discounting by its rivals weighed down on the company.

Sales at established restaurants, or same-store sales, rose 0.4 percent, CKE said on Wednesday.

Same-store sales fell 1.6 percent at Carl's Jr, while it rose 3.2 percent at Hardee's.

"The reduced level of consumer traffic at retail outlets during the holiday shopping season and the continued discounting by many of our competitors... negatively impacted both brands' sales results," CEO Andrew Puzder said in a statement.

Larger hamburger chains have been promoting low-cost items, such as McDonald's Corp's (MCD.N: Cotización) Dollar Menu, to appeal to consumers looking for less-expensive alternatives.

Sales at Carl's Jr were also hit by "cooler, wetter weather" in the company's core Southern California markets, Puzder said.

To attract cash-strapped consumers, Carl's Jr introduced the Charbroiled Steak Sandwich on Dec. 3, although several rainy days in the period blunted initial consumer trial.

CKE shares closed at $9.22 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)