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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO-Bakery and café owner Panera Bread Co. said revenue jumped 30% in the third quarter, rising to $205 million, a $47-million increase from the same quarter a year earlier when revenue was $158 million.

The St. Louis-based chain, which operates 939 bakery and cafés in 37 states under the Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co. names, said sales at stores open at least 18 months rose 2.9% during the 13-week period ended Sept. 28. Company-owned store sales increased 2.5% and franchise sales rose 3% during the quarter. Year-to-date sales were up 4.9% company-wide.

Sales at Panera’s bakery-cafes accounted for $165 million of consolidated revenue in the period, while franchise royalties and fees along with fresh dough sales to franchises made up $40 million, the company said.

In the four weeks prior to the end of the quarter, total sales at comparable stores increased 5.9%. Company-owned comparable store sales were up 5.2% during that period while franchise same store sales rose 6.2%.

The company said comparable store sale for the four-week period ended Sept. 26 were positively impacted by a drop in sales in markets impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The impact of that hurricane increased system-wide sales by 1/2% to 1% for the four-week period, the company said.

Panera opened 38 new bakery-cafes during the quarter, 21 of which were franchised. The company plans to report its full earnings after the market close on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

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