BROOMFIELD — Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS), the Broomfield-based fast-casual pasta chain, saw positive revenue and income momentum in the fourth quarter of 2023, but full-year performance was less impressive.
In the fourth quarter, total revenue increased 18.9% to $136.5 million from $114.8 million in the same period of 2021. Comparable restaurant sales were up 8.7% systemwide.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2022 was $1 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $4.7 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, in the same period the prior year.
Five company-owned restaurants opened in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“During the fourth quarter, our results reflected significant growth relative to the prior year, including company comparable restaurant sales of 10.2% with positive traffic growth and restaurant level margin expansion of 280 basis points, resulting in adjusted EBITDA more than doubling to $9.9 million,” Noodles CEO Dave Boennighausen said in a prepared statement. “These results were fueled by continued momentum in sales, a more normalized cost environment for chicken, and the realization of efficiencies and leverage across several of our cost and expense items.”
For the full 2022 fiscal year, the company posted a net loss of $3.3 million on sales of $509.5 million. That’s compared with a profit of $3.7 million on sales of $475.2 million the prior year.
Sixteen new company-owned restaurants and three franchised restaurants opened in 2022.
For the first quarter of 2023, Noodles expects sales in the range of $125 million to $128 million.
“With progress in our positioning from a menu, digital and loyalty perspective, a more favorable [cost of goods sold] environment giving strong visibility into continued margin expansion, and a robust pipeline supporting increased unit growth of high return restaurants, we believe we are well positioned to carry our trend of significant earnings growth from the fourth quarter into the full 2023 fiscal year,” Boennighausen said.