Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 06, 2019 • 09:00 am ET

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Bloomin' Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLMN) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Thank you for standing by. This is the conference operator. Welcome to the Bloomin' Brands, Inc. Third Quarter 2019 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mark Graff, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Mark Graff

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. With me on today's call are Dave Deno, our Chief Executive Officer; and Chris Meyer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. By now, you should have access to our fiscal third quarter 2019 earnings release. It can also be found on our website at bloominbrands.com in the Investors section.

Throughout this conference call, we will be presenting results on an adjusted basis. An explanation of our use of non-GAAP financial measures and reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures appear in our earnings release on our website as previously described.

Before we begin formal remarks, I'd like to remind everyone that part of our discussion today will include forward-looking statements, including a discussion of growth strategies and financial guidance. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements. Some of these risks are mentioned in our earnings release, others are discussed in our SEC filings, which are available at sec.gov.

During today's call, we will be providing a recap of our financial performance for the fiscal third quarter 2019, an overview of Company highlights and a discussion regarding progress on key strategic objectives. Once we've completed these remarks, we'll open up the call for questions.

With that, I'd now like to turn the call over to Dave Deno.

Executive
David J. Deno

Well, thank you, Mark, and welcome to everyone listening today. Before beginning formal remarks on the third quarter, I want to provide additional context on the Company's announcement this morning that we are exploring strategic alternatives. During the past four years, we made a number of important decisions to improve the long-term health and profitability of the business. These included $50 million of investments in food and service enhancements to improve the customer experience, successfully pursuing the emerging off-premise business, establishing a world-class loyalty program and accelerating the growth in a rapidly expanding International business.

We also spent $400 million in remodels to contemporize our brand and improve curb appeal. As a result of these initiatives and a focus on core execution, we've been able to consistently take market share over the past two years on both sales and traffic. This momentum carried into this year as we are outperforming the industry on sales and traffic by 100 basis points and 130 basis points, respectively, year-to-date through October. Concurrent with the top line sales momentum, we also continue to improve the profitability of the restaurants as we leverage and monetize the benefits of these investments across the portfolio. Q3 marks the fourth consecutive quarter of at least 60 basis points of adjusted operating margin expansion.

In addition, we generated significant free cash flow, which provides increased flexibility for