2Q profit shrinks at Olive Garden owner Darden

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Associated Press

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 20 at 6:02 AM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Darden Restaurants' fiscal second-quarter net income fell 37 percent, as revamped menus and new ad campaigns failed to draw diners into its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.

The Orlando, Fla., company had cut its guidance for the year earlier this month, blaming failed promotions.

Darden Restaurants Inc. earned $33.6 million, or 26 cents per share, for the period ended Nov. 25. That's down from $53.7 million, or 40 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts predicted slightly higher earnings of 27 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue climbed 7 percent to $1.96 billion from $1.83 billion, meeting Wall Street's forecast.

Revenue at U.S. restaurants open at least a year, a key sales metric, fell 3.2 percent at Olive Garden and 2.7 percent at Red Lobster as traffic shrank.

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