Potbelly Corporation Reports Results for Fourth Fiscal Quarter and Full Year 2021 and Provides Long-term Outlook
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Potbelly Corporation Reports Results for Fourth Fiscal Quarter and Full Year 2021 and Provides Long-term Outlook

March 03, 2022 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO - Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB)(“Potbelly” or the “Company”), the iconic neighborhood sandwich shop, today reported financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and full year ended December 26, 2021.

The Company also provided its directional outlook for fiscal 2022 and several long-term growth targets. As Potbelly prepares to embark on its next phase of growth, the Company has announced its three-year strategic targets as well as its long-term unit potential, with the aim of unlocking the unique brand’s full potential. 

3-Year Strategic Goals

2024 Targets
Growth &
Profitability Targets
 
Average Unit Volumes (AUVs)
  • $1.3 million
Shop Level Margins1
  • Greater than 16%
Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative
 
Refranchising
  • Approximately 25% of shops
Franchise Growth
  • 10% annual unit growth rate
Long-Term Potential of 2,000 Total Units

 

Bob Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of Potbelly Corporation, commented, “Over the last year and a half, we have tirelessly executed against our Five-Pillar strategy, which helped us reshape many of the foundational elements that support the great Potbelly brand. This includes a new management team, new simplified menu, upgraded tech stack with enhanced app and web functionality, improved Perks Loyalty program, and a more sophisticated approach to media and local shop marketing. These initiatives not only helped guide us through the pandemic, but they also repositioned our platform to support significant growth and expansion moving forward. Potbelly is the sandwich shop with the craveable quality and good vibes of a first-class dive. Our unique combination of great food, awesome people and a fun environment is truly differentiated, and we believe it needs to be shared across the country. Therefore, today we are excited to announce our Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative including a new long-term target to grow to over 2,000 units across the U.S. and our plan to refranchise approximately 25% of our shops over the next three years. Deals for refranchised shops are expected to include commitments for developing new shops to fully penetrate existing markets. We’re also excited to release our 2024 growth and profitability targets, including: increasing AUVs to $1.3 million, shop level margins to greater than 16%, and an annual unit growth rate of at least 10% through franchising. With Potbelly’s iconic brand positioning, differentiated menu and loyal customer base, we are confident in our team’s ability to unlock the Company’s full potential.”

Bob Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of Potbelly Corporation, commented, “Over the last year and a half, we have tirelessly executed against our Five-Pillar strategy, which helped us reshape many of the foundational elements that support the great Potbelly brand. This includes a new management team, new simplified menu, upgraded tech stack with enhanced app and web functionality, improved Perks Loyalty program, and a more sophisticated approach to media and local shop marketing. These initiatives not only helped guide us through the pandemic, but they also repositioned our platform to support significant growth and expansion moving forward. Potbelly is the sandwich shop with the craveable quality and good vibes of a first-class dive. Our unique combination of great food, awesome people and a fun environment is truly differentiated, and we believe it needs to be shared across the country. Therefore, today we are excited to announce our Franchise Growth Acceleration Initiative including a new long-term target to grow to over 2,000 units across the U.S. and our plan to refranchise approximately 25% of our shops over the next three years. Deals for refranchised shops are expected to include commitments for developing new shops to fully penetrate existing markets. We’re also excited to release our 2024 growth and profitability targets, including: increasing AUVs to $1.3 million, shop level margins to greater than 16%, and an annual unit growth rate of at least 10% through franchising. With Potbelly’s iconic brand positioning, differentiated menu and loyal customer base, we are confident in our team’s ability to unlock the Company’s full potential.”

Fiscal 2021 Results

Key highlights for the thirteen weeks ended December 26, 2021, compared to December 27, 2020:

  • Total revenues increased by 37% to $102.8 million compared to $74.9 million. GAAP net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation was ($2.5) million, compared to a GAAP net loss of ($16.4) million. GAAP diluted loss per share was ($0.09) compared to a GAAP diluted loss per share of ($0.68).
  • Adjusted net loss1 attributable to Potbelly Corporation was ($1.6) million compared to an adjusted net loss1 of ($13.7) million. Adjusted diluted EPS1 was a loss of ($0.06) compared to an adjusted diluted EPS1 loss of ($0.57). EBITD1 increased significantly to $1.3 million compared to an EBITDA1loss of ($11.3) million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1improved meaningfully to $2.6 million compared to Adjusted  EBITDA1 loss of ($6.9) million, with third-consecutive quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA1, despite macroeconomic challenges.
  • On December 26, 2021, total liquidity was $28.8 million, including $14.4 million of cash on hand and $14.4 million available under the revolving credit facility.

Key highlights for the fifty-two weeks ended December 26, 2021, compared to December 27, 2020:

  • Total revenues increased by 30% to $380.1 million compared to $291.3 million.
  • GAAP net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation was ($23.8) million, compared to a GAAP net loss of ($65.4) million. GAAP diluted loss per share was ($0.86) compared to a GAAP diluted loss per share of ($2.74).
  • Adjusted net loss1 attributable to Potbelly Corporation was ($14.4) million compared to an adjusted net loss1 of ($46.3) million. Adjusted diluted EPS1 was a loss of ($0.52) compared to an adjusted diluted EPS1 loss of ($1.94).
  • EBITDA1 increased significantly to ($6.7) million compared to an EBITDA1 loss of ($51.0) million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 improved meaningfully to $0.5 million compared to Adjusted EBITDA1 loss of ($32.7) million.

2021 Strategic Successes:

  • Same-store sales (SSS) trends demonstrated meaningful strength, ending the year at +30.3% compared to the year ago period; SSS were relatively flat compared to 2019 levels.
  • Same-store traffic improved +20.1% for the year compared to year ago period, with recovery across all shop types.
  • Successful launch of the new tech stack and national rollout of new menu drove increased revenue, traffic, and higher average check.
  • Significant progress against the Company’s Five-Pillar strategy, with continued revenue strength in digital channels.
  • Completed buildout of the executive leadership team with the appointment of several key management team members in growth-focused positions.
  • Maintained cost discipline first implemented in 2020, achieving targeted G&A as a percentage of sales to under 9%.

Mr. Wright continued, “We had exceptionally positive momentum as we exited 2021, driven by strong consumer demand and execution against our Five-Pillar Strategy. In the fourth quarter, we experienced record sales and expanded shop margins from the third quarter, driven by strong performance across all shop types. In parallel with continued favorable trends for in-shop dining, our digital channels remain robust and a critical segment of the business, representing nearly 36% of total sales for the year. We achieved positive Adjusted EBITDA for the third consecutive quarter and shop-level profitability for the fourth consecutive quarter, despite persistent inflationary pressures and labor challenges that we and the industry faced. The cost discipline we established at the beginning of the pandemic continues, and we made further progress throughout 2021 to offset cost headwinds, along with necessary price adjustments.”

2022 Outlook

2022 Outlook

Fiscal Year 2022
Average Unit Volumes (AUVs) Record AUVs
Same-Store Sales (SSS) Double-Digit Growth
Shop Level Margins Low Double-Digit Margins

 

Steve Cirulis, Chief Financial Officer, concluded, “As we begin executing our three-year growth plan, we have three key focus areas for 2022: 1) disciplined G&A and capital investments to set the foundation for future growth, 2) accelerated pursuit of our refranchising efforts, which will serve as a critical initial step to franchise growth, and 3) continued deployment of high-return strategic marketing, to further drive brand awareness and traffic. Although there is uncertainty related to COVID and ongoing inflationary pressures, our outlook for fiscal 2022 remains positive. Due to the short-term impact from Omicron and severe weather in January, we expect first quarter 2022 sales of $95 million to $98 million and shop level margins of between 3.5% to 5.5%. In recent weeks we have returned to the positive momentum we enjoyed as we exited 2021, having achieved SSS of +31.7% over the last five weeks. For the full year, we expect to achieve record AUVs, double-digit growth in same-store sales, and low double-digit shop level margins.”

Conference Call

A conference call and audio webcast has been scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, March 3, 2022, to discuss the fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results. Investors, analysts, and members of the media interested in listening to the live presentation are encouraged to join a webcast of the call with accompanying presentation slides, available on the investor relations portion of the Company's website.

Definitions

The following definitions apply to these terms as used throughout this press release:

  • Revenues – represents net company-operated sandwich shop sales and our franchise royalties and fees. Net company-operated shop sales consist of food and beverage sales, net of promotional allowances and employee meals. Franchise royalties and fees consist of an initial franchise fee, a franchise development agreement fee and royalty income from the franchisee.
  • Company-operated comparable store sales or same-store traffic – represents the change in year-over-year sales or transactions for the comparable company-operated store base open for 15 months or longer.
  • Average Unit Volumes (AUV) – represents the average sales of all company-operated shops which reported sales during the associated time period.
  • EBITDA – represents income before depreciation and amortization expense, interest expense and the provision for income taxes.
  • Adjusted EBITDA – represents income before depreciation and amortization expense, interest expense and the provision for income taxes, adjusted to eliminate the impact of other items, including certain non-cash as well as other items that we do not consider reflective of underlying business performance.
  • Shop-level profit (loss) – represents income (loss) from operations excluding franchise royalties and fees, general and administrative expenses, depreciation expense, pre-opening costs, restructuring costs and impairment, loss on the disposal of property and equipment and shop closures.
  • Shop-level profit (loss) margin – represents shop-level profit expressed as a percentage of net company-operated sandwich shop sales.
  • Adjusted net income (loss) – represents net income (loss), adjusted to eliminate the impact of restructuring costs, impairment, loss on the disposal of property and equipment, shop closures, and other items we do not consider representative of our ongoing operating performance, including the income tax effects of those adjustments and the change in our income tax valuation allowance.

1Non-GAAP Financial Measures

We prepare our financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). Within this press release, we make reference to EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted diluted EPS, adjusted net loss, shop-level profit, and shop-level profit margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures. The Company includes these non-GAAP financial measures because management believes they are useful to investors in that they provide for greater transparency with respect to supplemental information used by management in its financial and operational decision making.

Management uses adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS to evaluate the Company’s performance and in order to have comparable financial results to analyze changes in our underlying business from quarter to quarter. Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted diluted EPS exclude the impact of certain non-cash charges and other special items that affect the comparability of results in past quarters. Management uses shop-level profit and shop-level profit margin as key metrics to evaluate the profitability of incremental sales at our shops, to evaluate our shop performance across periods and to evaluate our shop financial performance against our competitors.

Accordingly, the Company believes the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures, when used in conjunction with GAAP financial measures, is a useful financial analysis tool that can assist investors in assessing the Company’s operating performance and underlying prospects. This analysis should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. This analysis, as well as the other information in this press release, should be read in conjunction with the Company’s financial statements and footnotes contained in the documents that the Company files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The non-GAAP financial measures used by the Company in this press release may be different from the methods used by other companies. For more information on the non-GAAP financial measures, please refer to the table, “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures to GAAP Financial Measures.”

Information reconciling forward-looking shop-level profit margin to GAAP financial measures is unavailable to the Company without unreasonable effort. The Company is not able to provide reconciliations of shop-level profit margins to GAAP financial measures because certain items required for such reconciliations are outside of the Company’s control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted. These items include but are not limited to impairment charges, gain or loss on asset disposals, shop closure costs, and restructuring costs that are difficult to predict in advance in order to include in a GAAP estimate and may be significant.

Forward-Looking Statements

In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements, written, oral or otherwise made, represent the Company’s expectation or belief concerning future events. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “seeks,” “intends,” “plans,” “strives,” “goal,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” “projects” or “anticipates” or the negative of these terms and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included in this press release may include, among others, statements relating to our (i) future financial position and results of operations, including 2024 growth and profitability targets, (ii) business strategy, including investments in G&A growth, the refranchising of shops, expansion and deployment of high-return strategic marketing, (iii) ability to achieve future growth and deliver value for our shareholders, (iv) guidance for Q1 2022 sales and shop level margins and (v) outlook for 2022, including average unit volumes, same store sales, shop level margins and cash flow. By nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied by the forward-looking statement, due to reasons including, but not limited to, risks related to the COVID-19 outbreak; compliance with our Credit Agreement covenants; competition; general economic conditions; our ability to successfully implement our business strategy; the success of our initiatives to increase sales and traffic; changes in commodity, energy and other costs; our ability to attract and retain management and employees; consumer reaction to industry-related public health issues and perceptions of food safety; our ability to manage our growth; reputational and brand issues; price and availability of commodities; consumer confidence and spending patterns; and weather conditions. In addition, there may be other factors of which we are presently unaware or that we currently deem immaterial that could cause our actual results to be materially different from the results referenced in the forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Although we believe that our plans, intentions and expectations are reasonable, we may not achieve our plans, intentions or expectations. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions and currently available data and are neither predictions nor guarantees of future events or performance. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. See “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements” included in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and other risk factors described from time to time in subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or other subsequent filings, all of which are available on our website. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.

 

Potbelly Corporation
Consolidated Statements of Operations and Margin Analysis – Unaudited
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

  For the 13 Weeks Ended   For the 52 Weeks Ended
  December 26, 2021   % of
Revenue
  December 27, 2020   % of
Revenue
  December 26, 2021   % of
Revenue
  December 27, 2020   % of
Revenue
Revenues                              
Sandwich shop sales, net $ 102,009     99.2 %   $ 74,324     99.3 %   $ 377,283     99.3 %   $ 289,337     99.3 %
Franchise royalties and fees   795     0.8       542     0.7       2,769     0.7       1,944     0.7  
Total revenues   102,804     100.0       74,866     100.0       380,052     100.0       291,281     100.0  
                               
Expenses                              
(Percentages stated as a percent of sandwich shop sales, net)                              
Sandwich shop operating expenses, excluding depreciation                              
Food, beverage and packaging costs   29,000     28.4       21,151     28.5       105,035     27.8       82,154     28.4  
Labor and related expenses   33,437     32.8       27,151     36.5       127,099     33.7       105,241     36.4  
Occupancy expenses   13,223     13.0       13,301     17.9       53,821     14.3       56,882     19.7  
Other operating expenses   14,922     14.6       13,173     17.7       59,265     15.7       49,054     17.0  
                               
(Percentages stated as a percent of total revenues)                              
Advertising   1,259     1.2       226     0.3       2,999     0.8       1,020     0.4  
General and administrative expenses   9,012     8.8       6,689     8.9       33,287     8.8       33,989     11.7  
Depreciation expense   3,572     3.5       4,720     6.3       15,909     4.2       19,830     6.8  
Pre-opening costs       *       165     0.2           *       229     0.1  
Impairment, loss on disposal of property and equipment and shop closures   628     0.6       2,744     3.7       5,125     1.3       12,346     4.2  
Restructuring costs       *       1,668     2.2           *       1,668     0.6  
Total expenses   105,053     >100       90,988     >100       402,540     >100       362,413     >100  
Loss from operations   (2,249 )   (2.2 )     (16,122 )   (21.5 )     (22,488 )   (5.9 )     (71,132 )   (24.4 )
                               
Interest expense, net   249     0.2       346     0.5       963     0.3       1,076     0.4  
Loss before income taxes   (2,498 )   (2.4 )     (16,468 )   (22.0 )     (23,451 )   (6.2 )     (72,208 )   (24.8 )
Income tax expense (benefit)   (57 )   (0.1 )     49     0.1       172     *       (6,536 )   (2.2 )
Net loss   (2,441 )   (2.4 )     (16,517 )   (22.1 )     (23,623 )   (6.2 )     (65,672 )   (22.5 )
Net loss attributable to non-controlling interest   42     *       (90 )   (0.1 )     161     *       (281 )   (0.1 )
Net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation $ (2,483 )   (2.4 )%   $ (16,427 )   (21.9 )%   $ (23,784 )   (6.3 )%   $ (65,391 )   (22.4 )%
                               
Net loss per common share attributable to common shareholders:                              
Basic $ (0.09 )       $ (0.68 )       $ (0.86 )       $ (2.74 )    
Diluted $ (0.09 )       $ (0.68 )       $ (0.86 )       $ (2.74 )    
Weighted average common shares outstanding:                              
Basic   28,372           24,220           27,640           23,899      
Diluted   28,372           24,220           27,640           23,899      

*Amount is less than 0.1%

 

Potbelly Corporation
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures to GAAP Financial Measures – Unaudited
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

  For the 13 Weeks Ended   For the 52 Weeks Ended
  December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020   December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020
Net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation, as reported $ (2,483 )   $ (16,427 )   $ (23,784 )   $ (65,391 )
Impairment, loss on disposal of property and equipment and shop closures(1)   628       2,744       5,125       12,346  
CEO transition costs(2)                     769  
Proxy related costs(3)                     1,039  
Restructuring costs(4)         1,668             1,668  
Total adjustments before income tax   628       4,412       5,125       15,822  
Income tax adjustments(5)   276       (1,671 )     4,222       3,281  
Total adjustments after income tax   904       2,741       9,347       19,103  
Adjusted net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation $ (1,579 )   $ (13,686 )   $ (14,437 )   $ (46,288 )
               
Net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation per share, basic $ (0.09 )   $ (0.68 )   $ (0.86 )   $ 2.74  
Net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation per share, diluted $ (0.09 )   $ (0.68 )   $ (0.86 )   $ 2.74  
               
Adjusted net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation per share, basic $ (0.06 )   $ (0.57 )   $ (0.52 )   $ (1.94 )
Adjusted net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation per share, diluted $ (0.06 )   $ (0.57 )   $ (0.52 )   $ (1.94 )
               
Shares used in computing adjusted net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation:              
Basic   28,372       24,220       27,640       23,899  
Diluted   28,372       24,220       27,640       23,899  

 

  For the 13 Weeks Ended   For the 52 Weeks Ended
  December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020   December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020
Net loss attributable to Potbelly Corporation, as reported $ (2,483 )   $ (16,427 )   $ (23,784 )   $ (65,391 )
Depreciation expense   3,572       4,720       15,909       19,830  
Interest expense, net   249       346       963       1,076  
Income tax expense (benefit)   (57 )     49       172       (6,536 )
EBITDA $ 1,281     $ (11,312 )   $ (6,740 )   $ (51,021 )
Impairment, loss on disposal of property and equipment and shop closures(1)   628       2,744       5,125       12,346  
Stock-based compensation   649       35       2,137       2,515  
CEO transition costs(2)                     769  
Proxy related costs(3)                     1,039  
Restructuring costs(4)         1,668     $       1,668  
Adjusted EBITDA $ 2,558     $ (6,865 )   $ 522     $ (32,684 )

 

Potbelly Corporation
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures to GAAP Financial Measures – Unaudited
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

  For the 13 Weeks Ended   For the 52 Weeks Ended
  December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020   December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020
Loss from operations $ (2,249 )   $ (16,122 )   $ (22,488 )   $ (71,132 )
Less: Franchise royalties and fees   795       542       2,769       1,944  
Advertising   1,259       226       2,999       1,020  
General and administrative expenses   9,012       6,689       33,287       33,989  
Depreciation expense   3,572       4,720       15,909       19,830  
Pre-opening costs         165             229  
Impairment, loss on disposal of property and equipment and shop closures   628       2,744       5,125       12,346  
Restructuring costs       $ 1,668     $     $ 1,668  
Shop-level profit (loss) [Y] $ 11,427     $ (452 )   $ 32,063     $ (3,994 )
Total revenues $ 102,804     $ 74,866     $ 380,052     $ 291,281  
Less: Franchise royalties and fees   795       542       2,769       1,944  
Sandwich shop sales, net [X] $ 102,009     $ 74,324     $ 377,283     $ 289,337  
Shop-level profit (loss) margin [Y÷X]   11.2 %     (0.6 )%     8.5 %     (1.4 )%

 

Potbelly Corporation
Consolidated Selected Balance Sheet Data and Selected Operating Data – Unaudited
(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

  December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020
Selected Balance Sheet Data      
Cash and cash equivalents $ 14,353     $ 11,126
Total assets   253,237       283,357
Current portion of long-term debt   2,333       333
Long-term debt, net of current portion   17,517       15,953
Total liabilities   255,654       277,862
Total equity (deficit)   (2,417 )     5,495

 

  For the 13 Weeks Ended   For the 52 Weeks Ended
  December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020   December 26, 2021   December 27, 2020
Selected Operating Data                  
Shop Activity:                  
Company-operated shops, end of period 397     400     397     400  
Franchise shops, end of period 46     46     46     46  
Revenue Data:                  
Company-operated comparable store sales 33.8 %   (19.7 )%   30.3 %   (24.7 )%

 

Potbelly Corporation
Footnotes to the Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures to GAAP Financial Measures

(1)   This adjustment includes costs related to impairment of long-lived assets, loss on disposal of property and equipment and shop closure expenses.

(2)   The Company incurred certain costs related to the transition between the current and former CEO in 2020. Transition costs were included in general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statement of operations.

(3)   The Company incurred certain professional and other costs and associated benefits related to the shareholder proxy matter.

(4)   The Company incurred certain restructuring costs related to severance and other costs that were included in general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statement of operations.

(5)   This adjustment includes the tax impacts of the other adjustments listed above based on the Company’s effective tax rate, the change in the Company’s income tax valuation allowance during the period, and the discrete income tax benefit from the carryback of prior year net operating losses and refund of prior year alternative minimum tax credits.
 

SOURCE Potbelly

###

Contact:

Lisa Fortuna or Ashley Gruenberg
Alpha IR Group
312-445-2870
PBPB@alpha-ir.com

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