Darden Restaurants Inc DRI
Q2 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 12/20/2012

Operator: Welcome, and thank you for standing by. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the presentation, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. The call is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.

Now I'll turn the call over to your host, Mr. Matthew Stroud. Mr. Stroud, you may begin.

Matthew Stroud - IR: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. With me today are Clarence Otis, Darden's Chairman and CEO; Drew Madsen, Darden's President and COO; Brad Richmond, Darden's CFO; and Gene Lee, President of Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group. We welcome those of you joining us by telephone or the Internet.

During the course of this conference call, Darden Restaurants' officers and employees may make forward-looking statements concerning the Company's expectations, goals or objectives. Forward-looking statements are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after such date. We wish to caution investors not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to materially differ from those anticipated in the statements. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in Darden's Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and Form 8-K reports, including all amendments to those reports.

These risks and uncertainties include food safety and food-borne illness concerns; litigation; unfavorable publicity; risks relating to public policy changes and federal, state and local regulation of our businesses, including health care reform; labor and insurance costs; technology failures; failure to execute a business continuity plan following the disaster, health concerns, including virus outbreaks; intense competition, failure to drive sales growth; failure to successfully integrate the Yard House business; and the additional indebtedness incurred to finance the Yard House acquisitions; our plans to expand our newer brands like Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V's; a lack of suitable new restaurant locations; higher than anticipated costs to open, close or remodel restaurants; a failure to execute innovative marketing tactics and increased advertising and marketing cost; a failure to develop and recruit effective leaders; a failure to address cost pressures, shortages or interruptions in the delivery of food and other products; adverse weather conditions and natural disasters, volatility in the market value of derivatives; economic factors specific to the restaurant industry and general macroeconomic factors including unemployment and interest rates, disruptions in the financial markets, risk of doing business with franchisees and vendors in foreign markets; failure to protect our service marks or other intellectual property, a possible impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill or other intangible assets, a failure of our internal controls over financial reporting or changes in accounting standards and other factors and uncertainties discussed from time-to-time in reports filed by Darden with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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