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Chuck E. Cheese May Slash Price-Per-Play As Same-Store Earnings See First Drop Since 1996

Posted On: 2/20/2003

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AUSTIN, TX (Posted February 20) - CEC Entertainment Inc. announced in mid-February that same store sales in the 437-store Chuck E. Cheese's chain fell one percent in 2002, the first drop in six years. The falloff was particularly noticeable in the fourth quarter, when comparable store sales decreased 2.5 percent. Financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 29, 2002 included the following data. Taking earnings from all stores into account (including newly opened locations), annual revenues for 2002 increased to $602.2 million from $562.2 million in 2001. Net income in 2002 increased to $69.5 million from $64.2 million in 2001. Fourth quarter figures showed a similar pattern: revenues for the fourth quarter of 2002 increased to $138.1 million from $129.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2002 increased to $10.9 million from $10.4 million in the same period of 2001. News wire services report that CEC will spend up to $60 million to build 35 to 40 stores in 2003. Reportedly, CEC may also expand its half-price test program for coin-op games and rides to cover the entire nationwide chain. More details about all this will be published in the next print edition of VENDING TIMES.