Sandra B. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (“Cracker Barrel” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: CBRL), today reviewed with securities analysts and institutional investors a series of strategic initiatives underway to enhance the Company’s core business, expand its footprint, and extend the Cracker Barrel brand to drive total shareholder returns.
“We are intensifying our focus on operational excellence in existing units and profitable new restaurant growth, while beginning to pursue opportunities to extend our powerful brand beyond our physical stores,” Ms. Cochran said. “In doing so, we seek to build on our continued gains in comparable store traffic, restaurant and retail sales, and the successful implementation of the six business initiatives we launched last September.
“The goal of our strategy is to drive average annual total shareholder return of 15-18%, built on sales growth of 5%, operating income growth of 8-10%, and earnings per share gains of 12-15%, over the next three years. We believe these goals are achievable under the leadership of an energized management team focused on value creation and a work force committed to pleasing people and to excellence in all aspects of our operations,” Ms. Cochran added.
Ms. Cochran and the management team reported on the three key components of the strategic plan:
Enhancing the Core: Focusing on increasing average unit volume in existing stores, with an emphasis on innovation and productivity to enhance the competitive advantage of the Company’s unique and differentiated brand.
Expanding the Footprint: Continued commitment to profitable new unit growth, with a new growth target of 2-3% annually, focused on best locations and flawless execution.
Extending the Brand: Capitalizing on Cracker Barrel’s powerful brand by bringing it beyond the Company’s physical stores to create long term value through e-commerce and licensing.
The Company also informed the investment community that it expects to continue its strong cash flow generation, allowing it to fully fund store development at current levels while also reducing debt and returning substantial capital to shareholders through dividend payments and share repurchases.
“While executing on this strategic plan, Cracker Barrel will continue to implement its board succession planning and to deliver on its commitment to return capital to shareholders, as evident in today’s announcement of a 60% increase in our quarterly dividend,” Ms. Cochran said. “With our truly unique brand and guest experience and an energized leadership team driving change, we are determined to deliver on our new strategy and provide a long runway of shareholder value creation.”
The Company posted the complete presentation early this morning in the investor relations section of its website at www.crackerbarrel.com. The on-line replay of the presentation will remain available through May 20.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants provide a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurants serve up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as our signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 613 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. For more information, visit: crackerbarrel.com.