Customer traffic edged up, but sales declined a bit deeper at restaurant chains owned by OSI Restaurant Partners LLC as the aftershock of lowered menu prices hit the Tampa company's balance sheet.
Comparable store sales at Outback Steakhouse were down 10 percent in the second quarter ended June 30, 6 percent at Carrabba's Italian Grill, 8 percent at Bonefish Grill and 22 percent at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.
But the company said each division fared better than the rest of the slumping casual restaurant industry and some gained market share. Buoyed by $38 million in reduced expenses, operating income before taxes and amortization improved to a loss of $76 million, compared with a loss of $124 million a year ago.
Privately held OSI said it is conducting a national search for a replacement for Paul Avery, who in June left as president of Outback, which accounts for 972 of the company's 1,477 stores.