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Steak n Shake parent sees profit, revenue rise

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The parent company of the Indianapolis-based Steak n Shake restaurant chain reported higher profit, revenue, customer traffic and same-store sales in its most recent quarter.

San Antonio-based Biglari Holdings Inc. on Friday said profit in the fiscal third quarter ended July 7 was $8.7 million, or $6.23 per share, compared with profit of $3.8 million, or $2.65 per share, during the same time frame a year ago.

Revenue in the quarter rose 9.4 percent over the year-ago period, to $161.5 million. The company said its acquisition of Western Sizzlin Corp. in March helped increase quarterly revenue by 3 percent, or $4.3 million.

Same-store sales increased 7.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Biglari Holdings classifies same-store sales as results from stores open at least 18 months.

Overall customer traffic was up 9.6 percent. However, the company said the increase in customer traffic was partially offset by lower average selling prices attributed to heavy discounting and lower-priced menu items.

As of July 7, Steak n Shake operated 412 company-owned restaurants and 70 franchised units in 21 states. Western operated five company-owned restaurants and 91 franchised units in 17 states.

Biglari Holdings, meanwhile, has postponed an Aug. 24 meeting in which shareholders were set to vote on a controversial pay package for CEO Sardar Biglari.

The company said the decision to delay the meeting is the result of “misinformation” that the company needs to address. A new date has not been set.

At issue is a pay package announced in April in which Biglari Holdings said it would begin paying Biglari 25 percent of any increase in the company’s annual book-value growth topping 5 percent.

That means the CEO’s bonus pay would be based in part on asset growth rather than income. The bonus pay would be in addition to the $900,000 annual salary Biglari earns.

Biglari Holdings said in the Aug. 9 statement that the company’s governance committee, consisting entirely of outside directors, unanimously approved the incentive agreement because it in fact links pay to economic performance rather than stock-price or other non-performance-based benchmarks.

Biglari took over Indianapolis-based Steak n Shake Co. in a 2007 proxy fight, helped return its restaurants to profitability, then transformed it into a holding company for a diverse range of investments.

The renamed company, which relocated its headquarters from Indianapolis to San Antonio, has moved aggressively to invest or take over other firms, including a small Michigan insurer. The Steak n Shake restaurant operations remain in Indianapolis.

Shares of Biglari Holdings are trading at $264 each, down from their high of about $418 in April.
 
 

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