US multi-brand operator Darden Restaurants has reported total sales of $1.97bn in the second quarter ending 25 November 2018.

The 4.9% increase in sales from $1.88bn last year was driven by the addition of 40 new restaurants and a 2.1% increase in blended same-restaurant sales.

Total operating costs and expenses of the company was $1.82bn, compared to $1.75bn for the same period last year.

The company also reported operating income of $148.1m, compared to $128.9m for the same period in the previous year.

“We continued to grow market share profitably by strengthening and leveraging our competitive advantages.”

Basic net earnings per share of the company were $0.93 compared to $0.69 last year.

Darden Restaurants CEO Gene Lee said: “We had another quarter of strong and steady performance by continuing to focus on being brilliant with the basics in our restaurants.

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“We continued to grow market share profitably by strengthening and leveraging our competitive advantages, and our brands are making the appropriate investments while managing costs effectively.”

Darden currently operates 1,762 restaurants under various brands such as Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s.

Darden Restaurants also reported a 3.5% increase in US same-store sales for Olive Garden and a 2.9% increase in US same-store sales for LongHorn Steakhouse.