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Healthy Restaurant Chain's Revenues Grow 54% in 2021
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Shares of new concept fast casual restaurant chain Sweetgreen Inc. (SG:NYSE) traded 23% higher after the company reported Q4/21 and FY/21 financial results highlighting a 63% YoY revenue increase in Q4/21.

After U.S. financial markets closed yesterday, fast-casual restaurant operator Sweetgreen Inc. (SG:NYSE), which serves healthy foods prepared from locally sourced, seasonal, and organic ingredients, announced financial results the fourth quarter and full year of 2021 ended December 26, 2021.

Sweetgreen's Co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Neman commented, "Our strong fourth quarter performance reflects our continued commitment to delivering sustainable results and great outcomes for our customers, our communities, and our company. We are extremely proud of our financial performance following a successful IPO and remain laser focused on executing against our growth strategies, including expanding and evolving our footprint and enhancing our digital experience with a focus on owned digital relationships."

"I have so much gratitude for our team members and network of more than 200 sustainable farmers and suppliers who power our mission every day of building healthier communities by connecting people to real food," CEO Neman added.

The company's CFO Mitch Reback stated, "Our fourth quarter results demonstrate continued recovery from the pandemic…We showed meaningful operating leverage as we experienced revenue growth, narrowed our operating loss, improved restaurant-level margins and leverage in our G&A, excluding stock-based compensation and non-recurring items. As we enter 2022, we are well positioned to make further progress towards our financial goals that prioritize unit growth and profitability."

Sweetgreen reported that in Q4/21 total revenue increased by 63% to $96.4 million, compared to $59.2 million in Q4/20. The company indicated that same-store sales in Q4/21 increased 36% over Q4/20 data and noted that average unit volume (AUV) grew by $0.4 million to $2.6 million, versus $2.2 million in the corresponding prior year period. Sweetgreen advised that the 36% same-store sales change wase attributable to a 32% increase in transaction volume and a 4% increase in its menu prices.

The firm stated that in Q4/21 it recorded a loss from operations of $47.8 million, versus a loss from operations of $40.1 million during Q4/20. The company noted; however, that Q4/21 Restaurant-Level Profit increased to $12.3 million, up from a loss of $2.4 million in Q4/20.

Sweetgreen listed that it added 10 (net) new restaurants in Q4/21, compared to just 4 (net) new openings in Q4/20. For FY/21, the company opened 31 (net) new restaurants, 16 more than the 15 (net) new restaurants added during FY/20.

For FY/21, the company indicated that total revenue increased by 54% year-over-year to $339.9 million, compared to $220.6 million in FY/20. The firm added that same-store sales in FY/21 were up by 25% y-o-y.

The company advised that for FY/21 it posted a loss from operations of $134.4 million, versus a loss from operations of $141.6 million in FY/20. Sweetgreen reported that for FY/21, Restaurant-Level Profit increased to $40.4 million, versus a loss of $8.7 million in FY/20.

The company reported that it posted a net loss of $153.2 million in FY/21, compared to a net loss of $141.2 million in FY/20.

Sweetgreen offered some forward guidance and stated that for FY/22 it plans to open at least 35 (net) new restaurants. The firm advised that for FY/22 it expects revenue of $515-535 million and same-store sales growth of 20-26%.

The company added that due to the unique timing of its earnings release, it is also providing its expectations forbQ1/22.

Sweetgreen stated that in Q1/22 it intends to open 7 (net) new restaurants and estimates revenue in the range of $100-102 million. The firm added that it expects an increase in same-store sales of 30-33%.

Sweetgreen is based in Los Angeles, Calif. and is focused on making real food convenient and accessible to all. The company operates approximately 150 restaurants in 13 states where "its team members create plant-forward, seasonal, and earth-friendly meals from fresh ingredients and produce that prioritizes organic, regenerative, and local sourcing." The firm stated that it endeavors to build healthier communities by connecting people to real food.

Sweetgreen started the day with a market cap of around $2.3 billion with approximately 107.0 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 6.0%. SG shares opened 16.5% higher today at $24.875 (+$3.525, +16.51%) over yesterday's $21.35 closing price. The stock has traded today between $24.00 and $27.2056 per share and is currently trading at $26.21 (+$4.86, +22.76%).


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