Caribou Coffee suffers $16.3 million loss in fiscal '08

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — Caribou Coffee Company, Inc., the third-largest company-owned gourmet coffeehouse operator in the United States based on locations, sustained a loss of $16,342,000 in the fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2008. The loss compared with a loss of $30,663,000 in fiscal 2007.

Net sales also finished lower, easing to $253,899,000 from $256,834,000. While sales in the commercial and franchise segment rose 50% year-over-year, coffeehouse sales within the retail segment fell 5% during fiscal 2008.

Despite the sluggish results, Michael Tattersfield, president and chief executive officer, said Caribou Coffee is making progress in its multi-year turnaround plan.

"As we continue to focus on improving the existing store base, we intend to limit company-owned coffeehouse expansion in 2009," Mr. Tattersfield said. "However, given the success we are having with our commercial and franchise business we are moving forward with an additional 35 to 40 franchise units in 2009 that will bolster our brand equity."

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