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EL CHICO RESTAURANTS, INC. ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER PROFIT IMPROVEMENT

 DALLAS, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- El Chico Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: ELCH) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 1993. Net income for the quarter nearly quadrupled to $521,000, or $.12 per share, from $134,000, or $.03 per share, for the 12-week period from Jan. 7, 1992 to March 30, 1992. The company has changed from fiscal year to calendar year financial reporting, so the 1992 results are for a 12-week fiscal period while the 1993 results are for a true calendar quarter. The improvement reflected increased restaurant operating profits and reduced general and administrative expenses.
 Revenues for the quarter were $20.3 million compared with $20.1 million for the 12-week period from January 7, 1992 to March 30, 1992. Company-owned restaurant sales included in these amounts were $19.1 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 1993 (90 days of operations) vs. $19.0 million for the period from January 7, 1992 to March 30, 1992 (84 days of operations). Comparable El Chico restaurant sales (January 1 through March 31 for both years) as expected were down 1.3 percent. Chief Financial Officer, Lawrence E. White, explained, "Our comparable El Chico restaurant sales were down for two reasons. First, one percentage point of the decline reflected one less day of sales than in the Leap Year quarter of 1992. Second, as anticipated, the company's previously stated emphasis this year has been on rebuilding the foundations of the business through improved product quality, service and remodeling, while essentially eliminating advertising; last year the company spent about 3.5 percent of sales more on advertising to achieve approximately the same comparable store El Chico sales. During 1993 we plan to achieve the product quality, service, and remodeling objectives, so that we can begin advertising again to drive sales through a combination of solid fundamentals, remodeled restaurants, and electronic media."
 El Chico Restaurants, Inc. owns and franchises a group of 86 full- service Mexican and other concept restaurants, principally under the name "El Chico," in 12 states throughout the Southern and Southwestern regions of the United States.
 EL CHICO RESTAURANTS, INC.
 (In thousands, except per share)
 First Quarter Ended 12 Weeks Ended
 March 31, 1993 March 30, 1992
 Total Revenue $20,348 $20,135
 Sales from Company Operated
 Restaurants $19,111 $19,046
 Income Before Income Taxes $ 864 $ 220
 Net Earnings $ 521 $ 134
 Net Earnings Per Common Share $ .12 $ .03
 Weighted Average Shares
 Outstanding 4,250,761 4,363,174
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Lawrence E. White, executive vice president, chief financial officer of El Chico Restaurants, Inc., 214-888-8108/
 (ELCH)


CO: El Chico Restaurants ST: Texas IN: FOD SU: ERN

TM -- NY125 -- 9059 04/21/93 19:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1993
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