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LOS ANGELES-The Grill Concepts Inc. restaurant chain reported a quarterly profit of 11 cents per share for the three months ended March 27, up from two cents per share or $117,000 in the same period last year, according to company financial filings on Wednesday. The higher profit came on sales that rose 4.3% to $17.2 million from $16.5 million for the corresponding period a year ago. The improved profits came on sales at company-owned restaurants that grew 2.9% to $13.4 million from $13 million a year earlier. Along with the overall growth in sales and profits, same store sales improved 1.2% during the quarter.

Robert Spivak, president and CEO of Grill Concepts, said that the results reflected the company’s “renewed focus on improving operational efficiencies.” Spivak said the chain benefited from reductions in cost of sales, and lower restaurant operating expenses that resulted from the focus on efficiency. Although both the Daily Grill and Grill on the Alley restaurants improved during the quarter, Spivak cited strength at the newer Daily Grill locations as one of the factors in the improved performance. The company’s new Daily Grill locations include a restaurant in Santa Monica and another in “one of the busiest and most visible locations in downtown Los Angeles,” Spivak said.

Grill Concepts owns and manages 25 of what it calls “upscale casual and fine dining” full service restaurants under two core brand names, The Grill on the Alley and Daily Grill. Its latest financial results include adjustments to conform with a recent Securities and Exchange Commission ruling that regulates how retailers should account for leasing expenses. Many if not most retailers have restated their earnings and other financial data in order to comply with the SEC instructions.

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