Bloomin’ Brands Inc.’s net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 more than tripled, the parent to the Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar chains said Tuesday. The multiconcept operator benefited from the acquisition of a controlling interest in its joint venture in Brazil, which added about 47 restaurants. Adjusting for that and other charges, net income would have risen about 33 percent for the quarter. Traffic for the company’s casual-dining brands increased 0.3 percent for the quarter and 1.1 percent for the year.
Tampa, Fla.-based Bloomin’ Brands also said it intends to close 22 underperforming locations of Outback Steakhouse by the end of the first quarter of 2014. As a result of that decision, the company incurred pre-tax asset impairment charges of about $18.7 million during the fourth quarter, and will see about $5 million more in related costs in 2014. Bloomin’ Brands ended the year with 1,508 restaurants, including 988 Outback Steakhouse locations, 240 Carrabba’s Italian Grill units, 194 Bonefish Grill restaurants, 65 Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar units and 21 Roy’s locations.