American restaurant chain J. Alexander’s Holdings has reported a 3.9% increase in net sales to $242.26m for the fiscal year ending 30 December 2018 (FY2018), compared to $233.25m in 2017.

The restaurant company reported a decline in net income to $3.99m and loss in operating income of $3.49m, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Basic earnings per share amounted to $0.27, compared to $0.50 in 2017. It has also reported decreased earnings per share of $0.27, compared to basic earnings per share of $0.50 in 2017.

Alexander’s Holdings president and CEO Lonnie J. Stout II said: “Persistently soft sales from selected new restaurants, coupled with a significant beef price inflation of 4.1%, were primary factors impacting the performance of our J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurant collection in the final quarter of 2018.

“In contrast, we continued to be pleased with the results in our Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill collection, highlighted by another quarter of increased same store sales and higher guest counts.”

“We are pleased again to report that most of the sales increases generated within this group have been organic.”

The restaurant chain has reported net sales of $63.20m for the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4), a 3% increase compared to $61.33m in 2017.

Net income of the casual dining chain for the quarter was $0.934m, compared to $5.34m for the same period the previous year.

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Stout added: “We have experienced a modest improvement in guest counts and sales at our newest J. Alexander’s restaurant. We do believe that our initiatives will ultimately move the needle related to consistently raising guest traffic in each of our selected underperforming restaurants.

“We remain convinced from experience that once guests realise what we offer, they will help us build the foundation for long-term success in these newer restaurants.”

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, J. Alexander’s Holdings currently operates 46 restaurants in 16 states across the US under J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill brands.

The company opened one new J. Alexander’s restaurant and one new Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill during the year.

It also plans to open two new J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurants including in Houston, Texas during the fourth quarter of this year.