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Comps dip at Noodles & Company in Q3

Comp sales at Noodles & Company fell 0.9 percent year over year during the third quarter, continuing a trend of softening sales that has dogged the fast-casual chain in recent months.

The chain reported a net loss of $9.8 million for Q3, down from a $2.9 million gain in the year-ago quarter. Total revenues increased 10.5 percent, to $117.3 million.

Earnings were “under significant pressure” during the most recent quarter, CEO Kevin Reddy said, citing the chain’s investment in its new Made.Different positioning and the national rollout of a customizable kids’ meal. Labor costs and a $16.2 million impairment charge related to 25 units also put stress on net income.

Noodles and Company is “taking strong action to improve top line sales trends and improve shareholder returns,” Reddy said, noting that customer traffic appears to be improving.

The chain also announced plans to close 16 restaurants during the current quarter, which it said should improve future performance.

Noodles & Company said it expects comps growth for 2015 to fall in the slightly negative to flat range.

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