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APPLEBEE'S REPORTS STRONG QUARTERLY EARNINGS FROM RESTAURANT OPERATIONS

APPLEBEE'S REPORTS STRONG QUARTERLY EARNINGS FROM RESTAURANT OPERATIONS
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Applebee's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: APPB), today reported net earnings of $894,000, or 19 cents per share, for its first quarter ended March 29, 1992. First quarter operating revenue, which includes both company restaurant sales and franchise income, was $12,146,000, compared with $11,336,000 in 1991.
 Although net earnings in last year's first quarter were $1,026,000, or 22 cents per share, those earnings included a $782,000 pre-tax gain, or approximately 10 cents per share after tax, from the sale of the company's St. Louis restaurant interests to a franchisee. Without considering the gain on the sale of the St. Louis restaurants last year, first quarter 1992 earnings of 19 cents per share represent a 58 percent increase over last year and were the strongest of any quarter in Applebee's history.
 Total system sales were $85.6 million in the first quarter of 1992, compared with $65.6 million in last year's first quarter. Comparable sales of company-operated restaurants increased 10.9 percent in the first quarter and comparable franchisee sales were up 9.8 percent. System-wide comparable sales increased 9.9 percent.
 As of the date of this release, there are 203 Applebee's restaurants open in 29 states. Of these, 179 are operated by franchisees and 24 by the company. At March 29, 1992, there were 198 restaurants open in 29 states, compared with 166 restaurants in 28 states at the end of the first quarter of 1991. There are currently 15 new Applebee's restaurants under construction and 43 additional sites approved. The company pointed out that, while site approvals do not always result in new restaurant openings, the number of sites approved is a good indicator of new restaurant potential.
 Abe J. Gustin Jr., Applebee's president and CEO, said, "We are off to a tremendous start in 1992. Our franchisees opened eight new restaurants during the first quarter and today we opened a new company-owned restaurant in Irving, Texas. In addition, our existing restaurants performed at record levels during the first quarter, due in part to a very successful riblet promotion.
 "We opened our 200th restaurant during the week of April 6th in New Orleans. This was an important milestone for us. With the number of new restaurants we have under construction and approved, the continued growth of the Applebee's system is assured for the near future.
 "This was our 11th consecutive quarter of strong earnings performance, despite the recessionary period. As economic conditions improve, we look forward to continued growth in both new restaurants and earnings for the balance of the year."
 Applebee's International, Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., develops, franchises and operates a rapidly expanding national chain of restaurants under the trademark Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar.
 APPLEBEE'S INTERNATIONAL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Financial Summary (Unaudited)
 (In thousands except per share data)
 13 weeks ended 3/29/92 3/31/91
 Company restaurant sales $ 9,154 $ 9,183
 Franchise income 2,992 2,153
 Total operating revenue 12,146 11,336
 Operating earnings 1,347 1,658
 Other income 139 63
 Earnings before income taxes 1,486 1,721
 Income taxes 592 695
 Net earnings $ 894 $ 1,026
 Earnings (loss) per common share $ 0.19 $ 0.22
 Weighted average shares outstanding 4,768 4,611
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Falker of Swenson Falker Eilertsen, 612-371-0000, for Applebee's; or Sue Carroll of Applebee's, 816-421-2501/
 (APPB) CO: Applebee's International, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: LEI SU: ERN


GK -- NY009 -- 6347 05/05/92 08:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
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