SAN DIEGO – Jack in the Box Inc. on Tuesday reported a small increase for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2008 and a drop for the whole of 2008.

The company said that net earnings for 2008 were $119.3 million, compared to $125.6 million for fiscal 2008. For the fourth quarter, net earnings were $26.9 million compared to $26.8 million for the same period last year.

The company said both the quarter and the year included the impact of losses and costs related to Hurricane Ike.

Same-store sales at company-owned restaurants decreased 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter versus a year-ago increase of 5.2 percent. Excluding the impact from Hurricane Ike, Jack in the Box estimated that same-store sales for the quarter would have been slightly positive and in line with its expectations.

For the whole year, same-store sales at company Jack in the Box restaurants increased 0.2 percent on top of a 6.1 percent increase in fiscal 2007.

"Sales and traffic continue to be negatively impacted by the current economic crisis," said Linda A. Lang, chairman and chief executive officer. "While we've seen some easing in fuel costs, unemployment continues to rise, and consumers have become much more conservative in their discretionary spending.”


Source: Jack in the Box Inc.