El Pollo Loco Sees Loss, Lower Sales

Orange County Business Journal:

The Costa Mesa-based parent company of El Pollo Loco Inc. reported lower sales and a loss for 2009, which the Mexican fast food chain’s chief executive called “among the most challenging years in our 30-year history.”

El Pollo Loco’s holding company, EPL Intermediate Inc., reported an operating loss of $4 million for the year, down from on operating loss of $25 million a year earlier on lower food and wage costs.

The company is privately owned but reports results for debt holders.

Including interest expenses and other charges, El Pollo Loco posted a net loss of $52 million, widened from $39 million a year earlier.

Chief Executive Stephen Carley blamed the recession and its impact on the chain’s key Hispanic customers for the loss and lower sales.

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