WINSTON-SALEM, NC-The once-burgeoning Krispy Kreme doughnut store chain ended the first quarter with fewer domestic stores and posted a larger loss than it did in the previous year’s first quarter as the company continued turnaround efforts. Although the chain increased its total number of stores during the first quarter of fiscal 2008 that ended April 29, its growth occurred internationally, where it showed a net increase of 12 locations.

In its domestic operations, Krispy Kreme ended the quarter with a net decrease of three locations, for a total of 404 combined domestic and international stores at the end of the quarter. Company officials discussed the store count and the quarterly results Monday in a conference call with financial analysts.

Krispy Kreme “still faces some longstanding challenges” but is turning around, company president and CEO Daryl Brewster said in the conference call. “During the quarter, we improved our average weekly sales per company store and slowed the decline in systemwide sales,” Brewster said. He noted that the company refinanced its credit lines to cut costs and made progress in reducing other general and administrative costs. In addition, “Our international franchisees continued to show significant growth,” Brewster commented.

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