Cosi loss tops $3.5 million in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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Cosi bagel and coffee
Cosi's revenues increased 21% to more than $21 million.

BOSTON — Cosi Inc. sustained a loss of $3,542,000 in the first quarter ended March 28, which compared with a loss of $4,315,000 in the same period a year ago.

Revenues in the period increased 21% to $21,681,000 from $17,908,000.

RJ Dourney, Cosi
RJ Dourney, president and c.e.o. of Cosi

“Like most restaurant companies, every year we experience the lowest point of our seasonality in the first quarter,” said RJ Dourney, president and chief executive officer. “We knew that going into the quarter and were relentless in pursuing the results we knew we needed to stay on track to begin generating cash between the second and third quarters. We met our target cash balance for the quarter, and are on track with our target for the second quarter.

“We reached an inflection point in the fourth quarter last year, and we continued to see the momentum building at all levels of the business this quarter. Comp sales April year-to-date are consistent with our conservative target range of 1% to 2%, our largest markets are growing at 5% or higher, and our restaurants are meeting our ambitious operating cash flow targets.”

Cosi said the cost of food and beverages, as a percentage of restaurant net sales, decreased by 1.6%, when compared to the first quarter of 2015. The decrease was primarily the result of operational improvements and stability in the costs of certain contracted commodities, the company said.

Addressing the company’s strategic objectives, Mr. Dourney said, “We are working to deliver a stable operating and financial foundation in 2016 by being laser focused on driving traffic, generating cash, positioning our franchise system for growth, and cultivating a culture of ownership and accountability. I am confident that we will continue to move Cosi toward strategic innovation and growth in 2017.” 
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