OBC exec. moving on
The Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC) announced last week that Michael Kelsey has resigned as the group's executive director, effective October 29, 2004, and that he has accepted the position of executive vice president of the Nebraska Cattlemen. Kelsey has been with the OBC since August of 2000 as executive director and has played an important role in guiding Oklahoma's beef industry through some of its key milestones and achievements. Programs and activities of the OBC will continue under the leadership of Melissa Morton, collections and compliance officer, who has been named interim executive director. The OBC Board of Directors is forming a search committee to accept and review resumes for the executive director position. Resumes are currently being accepted and the search committee will begin review on October 15, 2004. Applications may be sent to Executive Director Search Committee, c/o James Campbell, 2312 Exchange Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73108.
Morton's growing by five
Morton's Restaurant Group, New Hyde Park, NY, will add new upscale steakhouse restaurants in Chicago; Atlantic City, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Bethesda, MD; and Fort Lauderdale, FL, the company recently announced. The Chicago restaurant will be the second in that city's downtown. The new facility in Charlotte will also be that city's second Morton's restaurant, and the new addition in Washington, DC, will be that metro area's sixth such restaurant. In Atlantic City, the restaurant will be inside Caesar's Hotel and Casino, while the Fort Lauderdale Morton's will occupy Las Olas River House, a downtown luxury mixed-use condo complex. The additions will bring its count of upper-end steakhouses to 70 worldwide.
CKE sales soar, profits plunge
CKE Restaurants, the operator of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains, reported strong same-store sales growth at both chains during the second quarter, but registered a net loss of $11.4 million in the period, which ended August 9. Same-store sales rose 8.1 percent at Carl's Jr. and 6.2 percent at Hardee's. The overall loss was attributable to payments to settle three wage and hour class action lawsuits, a previously announced pre-payment premium on outstanding debt and other one-time charges. Without those, the company would have reported a net profit of approximately $10.8 million, or 17 cents per share. The company operates 3,206 franchised or company-owned restaurants in 44 states and 14 countries, including 2,067 Hardee's, 1,016 Carl's Jr.'s and 105 La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill locations.
BK's August sales stronger
Miami-based Burger King's company owned stores saw an 11.1 percent same-store sales increase in August, while franchised stores grew at a 4.5 percent rate, for an overall growth rate of 5.1 percent over the year-ago period. The announcement marks the seventh consecutive month of positive same-store growth results. Among the new products driving the chain's growth, has been the new Angus beef hamburger products.
Kroger Q2 earnings decline
Beset by labor unrest that hammered sales at the company's Ralph's and Food 4 Less stores in California and rising product costs, Cincinnati-based Kroger reported net earnings of $142.4 million for the second quarter ended August 14, down from $190.4 million in the same quarter a year ago. The company said its earnings were affected not only by the recently resolved strikes and their aftermath, but also by a premium of $15.3 million paid to retire $750 million in debt. Sales increased 5.1 percent to $13 billion in the quarter, but same-store sales growth, excluding gasoline, was an anemic 0.6 percent. Without the California stores included same-store sales grew 1.1 percent, which was called respectable.
All breed tour in Lisbon, ND
Fourteen seedstock operations representing the Angus, Buelingo, Chiangus, Longhorn, Lowline, Red Angus, Simmental, and Shorthorn breeds will be featured on the 2004 All Breeds Cattle Tour. The 18th annual event will be held Oct. 4-5 in the Lisbon, ND, area. "The All Breeds Cattle Tour is an excellent way to view the herds of multiple operations and compare multiple breeds in a short amount of time," said Tracey Koester, of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association. Visits will include: Melroe Farms, Gwinner; Alamo Farms, Ransom Angus, Bear Creek Beef, Wendel Livestock, and Schmit Farm, Oakes; Crete Grain Westgate and James Valley Grain, Crete; and Spring Valley Angus, LaMoure, ND, where a Pfizer Excede demonstration will be conducted. The final tour stop will be at the Ransom County Expo Center in Lisbon, where exhibits from Black Tie Simmental, Erdmann Angus and Hieggelke Simmentals will be displayed. For more information call 701/223-2522.