El Pollo Loco's business is on fire

Shares of El Pollo Loco are surging after the fast food chain reported strong sales for its fourth quarter.

The chain’s revenue increased 12% to $US90 million for the quarter ended December 31 and same-store sales increased 7.6%, compared to the same period in 2013.

Net income was $US4.6 million, or $US0.12 per diluted share, for the quarter compared to a net loss of $US18.1 million the previous year.

For the full year, same-store sales grew 7% and revenue increased 8% to $US344.9 million.

Shares surged more than 5% in after-hours trading on Thursday.

“As we look ahead to 2015, we’re excited about the opportunity to expand in both new and existing markets, bringing our fresh, hand-crafted Mexican inspired cuisine to customers across the country,” Steve Sather, president and CEO of El Pollo Loco, said in a statement.

He said the company’s recent expansion into Texas has gone “extremely well.”

“We expect to open 27 new El Pollo Loco restaurants in 2015, including an additional six to eight restaurants in the Houston area,” he said. “We believe that our differentiated ‘faster fast casual’ concept and strong operations position us well for sustainable long term growth.”

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