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MINNEAPOLIS-By every measure, Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. delivered healthy third-quarter financials. Total revenue rose 32.1% to $68 million, compared with $51.7 million for the same quarter a year ago, and same-store sales at company-owned and franchised units were up 11.8% and 6.4%, respectively.

Based on the success, during a conference call, Sally Smith, president and CEO, said the locally based restaurant chain plans to increase the number of Buffalo Wild Wing Grill & Bar units by more than 15% each year for the next three years. Additional annual goals for the three-year period are revenue growth of more than 20% a year, and a plan to “leverage this growth to increase our bottom line by over 25% (a year).

“For comparison,” she said, “through the first nine months of 2006, our unit growth is running 18%, our revenue growth is over 29%, and earnings exceed prior year by 50%.” The chain opened five company-owned restaurants during third quarter, one each in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver and Houston. Franchisees opened eight units in seven states during the quarter, including a first location in Oregon.

At the close of the quarter, units totaled 412 in 37 states. Of those, 134 were company owned, and 278 were franchised. Six company-owned units are expected to open in fourth quarter, and franchisees are expected to open at least 12 in fourth quarter with another three in either late December or January 2007.

The franchise pipeline is full. Smith said, “we have development agreements for over 240 locations and anticipate over 50 new franchise locations opening in 2007.” By the end of 2007, Smith said, “we expect to open our 500th location –a milestone . . .as we expand our brand across the US.”

In addition to store openings, starting in fourth quarter this year the company will launch a line of Buffalo Wild Wings apparel and glassware. Smith said this comes “after years of requests from our passionate guests and team members,” and the shirts, hats, sweatshirts and glassware will be sold on the company’s website and in a few test restaurant locations.

During third quarter, weekly sales at company-owned units averaged $35,380, up 12.8% over $31,361 a week during the same quarter a year ago. Weekly sales at franchised units averaged $42,964 during third quarter, up 7% in comparison with $40,149 a week during third quarter 2005.

Shares of BWLD common stock were $41.30 a share at the close of trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday, Oct. 24, up nearly 1% for the day. The 52-week low is $27 per share, and the 52-week high is $44.18 a share.

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