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Chipotle Mexican Grill Q4 revenue up 3.7% to $1 billion

Staff Writer |
Chipotle Mexican Grill reported financial results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

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Revenue for the quarter was $1 billion, up 3.7% from the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in revenue was driven by new restaurant openings, partially offset by a 4.8% decrease in comparable restaurant sales.

Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check.

Comparable restaurant sales decreased 20.2% and 1.4% in October and November 2016, and increased 14.7% in December 2016.

Comparable restaurant sales benefitted from easier comparisons due to lower sales levels in November and December 2015. We opened 72 new restaurants during the quarter, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.

Food costs were 35.3% of revenue, an increase of 150 basis points compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase was driven by higher avocado prices and increased expense for pre-diced tomatoes, partially offset by relief in beef prices.

Restaurant level operating margin was 13.5% in the quarter, a decrease from 19.6% in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease was driven primarily by increased marketing and promotional spend, sales deleveraging and higher food costs.

General and administrative expenses were 6.3% of revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 160 basis points over the fourth quarter of 2015.

In dollar terms, general and administrative expenses increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due to increased stock based compensation and legal expenses, partially offset by lower bonus expense.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $16.0 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared to net income of $67.9 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Full year ended December 31, 2016 results

Revenue for the full year 2016 was $3.9 billion, down 13.3% from the prior year.

The decrease in revenue was driven by a 20.4% decrease in comparable restaurant sales, partially offset by revenue from new restaurants.

Comparable restaurant sales declined primarily as a result of a decrease in the number of transactions in our restaurants, and to a lesser extent from a decline in average check.

We opened 240 new restaurants during the full year 2016, net of 3 relocations or closures, bringing the total restaurant count to 2,250.

Food costs were 35.0% of revenue, an increase of 160 basis points as compared to the prior year.

The increase was driven by increased waste and costs related to new food safety procedures as well as higher avocado prices, partially offset by relief in beef prices and a benefit of menu price increases implemented in select restaurants in the second half of 2015.

Restaurant level operating margin was 12.8% for the full year 2016, a decrease from 26.1% from the prior year. The decrease was driven by sales deleverage, increased marketing and promotional spending, and other increased costs of doing business.

General and administrative expenses were 7.1% of revenue for the full year of 2016, an increase of 150 basis points over the prior year, primarily as a result of sales deleverage.

In dollar terms, general and administrative costs increased compared to the prior year due to higher legal expense, higher payroll costs as we grew, and expenses associated with our biennial All Managers’ Conference held during 2016, partially offset by lower bonus expense and travel costs.

Our 2016 effective tax rate was 40.8%, an increase of 2.6% from 2015, due to higher state tax rates, not qualifying for the federal research and development tax credit in 2016, and non-deductible items on overall lower pre-tax operating income.

Net income for the full year of 2016 was $22.9 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared to net income of $475.6 million, or $15.10 per diluted share, for the prior year. â– 


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