Kona Grill Inc. said Monday it swung to a profit in the first quarter, aided by increased same-store sales and improved operating margins.
The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based operator of grill and sushi bar restaurants reported net income of $1.2 million, or 13 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $92,000, or one cent per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Kona Grill total revenue for the quarter rose 8.6 percent to $24.2 million, from $22.2 million in the same period last year.
First-quarter same-store sales increased 8.7 percent and the company reported that operating margins improved by 480 basis points, or 4.8 percent, to 19.9 percent of sales.
“The 8.7-percent same-store sales growth during the quarter represents our sixth consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales,” Berke Bakay, who was named Kona Grill’s president and chief executive in January, said in a statement. “More importantly, we were able to leverage these sales to drive a 19.9-percent operating margin, which we believe is in the top tier of our peer group.”
In guidance for the second quarter, Kona said it expects restaurant sales of $24.7 million, an uptick from sales of $24.5 million booked in the second quarter last year. The company also said it anticipates second-quarter profit of $1.25 million, or 14 cents a share, compared to profit of $800,000, or eight cents a share, in last year’s second quarter.
Kona Grill operates 23 restaurants in 16 states.